A Cardinal Love Story

Hello stampers! Today I would like to tell you a cardinal love story. I love feeding and watching birds in my backyard, and cardinals are my favourite. The reason for this is not only their vivid colouring, it is the way they love each other. Did you know that cardinals mate for life? If you spend some time watching them you will inevitably see the male cardinal feeding the female berries or seeds. Now that is the most beautiful thing to witness! They also take turns sitting on the eggs and feeding their young.

 

That is why I wanted to make a card with a male and a female cardinal looking at each other. Their romance deserves to be  celebrated and the stamparatus and the silicone mat make it easy to make a reverse facing cardinal. Would you like to see my card?

 

The Card

 

 

When you open the card then you get a lovely surprise with the female cardinal inside looking back at the love of her life! This is made possible through the reverse stamping technique. You can see a video on how to do that here.

 

 

How do you like the colours of the cardinals? I am thrilled with how they turned out and I will tell you all about it very soon.

 

 

I will show you a couple of pictures to try and do justice to the z-fold construction of this card. I shared the measurements in a previous post. This basic card design was inspired by Rachel Tessman. You can find the measurements for this card in a previous blog post here.

 

 

You can see that my cardinals are enjoying hanging out in the amaryllis greenhouse. The light in there is perfect for photographing my cards and I have to use the resources I have on hand! Today is my last day here with Gerard, I fly home very early tomorrow morning so there will be no blog post tomorrow.

 

 

The Colouring Trick

 

Do you remember that I told you that I had no cherry cobbler or real red ink? My Blends collection is also still in Canada, so I had to get creative with what I did have and I am so very pleased with how it turned out. It really is amazing what can happen when you layer colours. I started with shimmery white cardstock. The cardinals were stamped with Tuxedo Black Memento ink and left to dry for a little while. The reason I let them dry for a while is because I was going to be colouring them with an aqua painter and ink. Water can make memento ink run if it hasn’t had time to set.

 

 

For the male cardinal I started with colouring him totally in Poppy Parade. This colour really lives up to its name, it really is exactly the colour of those large poppies in my garden, a beautiful orange-red. However, this is not the right colour for a cardinal. I decided to layer on some Lovely Lipstick. What a difference! After that I decided to add just a little more depth by adding a touch of Merry Merlot. Bingo!! It was just the right shade for my proud male cardinal. For his beak I first used Pineapple Punch and then coloured over with Flirty Flamingo.

The female cardinal was going to be a little more challenging because of her muted colouring. Mrs. Cardinal has a lot less red because she has to blend into her surroundings when sitting on the nest protecting her eggs and later her chicks. You have to remember that I used to question my talent as an artist, so this is a big deal for me! I started with a little Gray Granite around the edges and then filled in with Soft Suede that was really diluted with the aqua painter for a softer effect. I left a little white space which I then filled in with a little Poppy Parade also watered down significantly and then a touch of Flirty Flamingo. Her beak was done the same as for the male.

I no longer doubt my artistic abilities. Creating this pair of love birds was a lot of fun. I am so very happy with how they turned out. This card and this cardinal love story simply brings me joy and I hope it does the same for you.

 

Personal Reflections

 

Today is my last day in Holland. I wanted to do a blog post even though it is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Here it is a regular work day. Thanksgiving Day is a “new world” holiday. Tomorrow my plane flies out of Amsterdam at 9:45am, that means I need to leave home at 6am, so there will be no blog post tomorrow!

 

My four weeks here have flown by. I am thankful that I was able to blog almost every week day and that I was able to do my weekly Facebook live videos both on my business Facebook page and also on my Pampered Stamper training group page. Many visits were made with my family here both over coffee and meals in their homes and also in fun restaurants and for this I am so very thankful. What an amazing opportunity to reconnect with my roots and also to hear stories about my parents that I had never heard before.

 

Gerard and I went to see a famous Dutch comedian and he was impressed that I was able to understand almost all of it. I met my cousin that night as well whom I hadn’t seen in twelve years! Last Friday we went to see a musical called Soldat van Oranje which is the longest running Dutch musical ever. It is in its 9th year and is a story about a student in World War 2 who flees to England to start an undercover operation with the help of Queen Wilhelmina. If you are interested in reading more about this, here is the link. I am sure there is a translate button so that you can read it in English too.

 

We only went out for supper three times in four weeks, the rest of the time we cooked together or we were at relatives. For the first time I had a taste of what it would be like to actually live here. Next time I will drive more myself and do some solo exploring. I was unable to unlock my phone so that means I had no GPS and having that would make me a lot more comfortable driving here.

 

It was interesting to work here with limited supplies. I have learned how to improvise and it has also stretched my creativity. My desire to share the opportunity of the starter kit has only grown through this experience. I am a firm believer that every new stamper should really start with this kit. Crafting is so much more rewarding, fun and easy when you have a few more supplies to work with. You may as well do that on a discount don’t you think?

 

Thank You

 

Thanks again for dropping by and for being a part of my journey. There is always room for you on my team if you live in Canada and I am always thrilled to help new customers get just what they need. I am looking forward to evolving my business to better serve my long distance customers. If you haven’t done so yet, please take the time to introduce yourself in the comments below. Have a super day and I will be back here when I am in Canada again.

 


Product List

Toile Christmas Blue Jay

Hello stampers! Today I want to share with you a Toile Christmas blue jay. There was a card I was planning to recreate that I had seen at our Twin Teams gathering made by the talented Marion Greenlund. When I was finally ready to make this card I realized I was missing some key components, the most crucial of which was the Peaceful Boughs Bundle. That is how the card for today has come to be!

 

Toile Christmas

 

Do you know the meaning of the word toile? It is actually a fabric and is derived from the French word meaning “linen cloth”  or “canvas”, particularly cloth or canvas for painting on. In this case it refers to a type of repeated surface decoration traditionally printed on the same fabric. If you look at our Toile Tidings designer series paper you will see just that. Old Victorian wallpaper also looked just like that with a repeated picture or design.

The bird image in Toile Christmas is a cardinal which is a very popular bird in North America, but it can also be interpreted to be a blue jay. I don’t have any cherry cobbler or real red ink pads with me here in Holland, so I decided to make a blue jay. I combined it with the Feels Like Frost designer series paper for a look that I am really, really pleased with if I do say so myself.

 

The Card

 

Once again I really wanted to showcase the beauty of this paper without having to cut it down so I made a big 6 1/8″ square card. Of course that means that I will have to custom make an envelope to go with it but we have our envelope punch board to make that a relatively easy process.

 

 

 

 

 

Can you see why I am so happy with this card? The card itself is basic black and the panel on the right uses the full piece of 6″ by 6″ paper. I then cut a 2 3/8″ piece of the same paper (there are four sheets of each design in the pack) and I turned it upside down to get a bigger sky feeling. You can also see that it is a Z-fold card which allows the branches to overhang the one panel.

 

 

 

 

Here you can get a good look at the sentiment. This was also a stroke of genius inspired by necessity. I had no embossing powder so I used the Delicata copper ink pad and the stamparatus. That way I was able to ink up three times to get a nice bright image.

 

 

 

 

Two of the dies in Toile Christmas do not have coordinating stamps so I cut them out of shimmery white cardstock and coloured them with ink and an aqua painter. I added them to the stamped and coloured branch for some variety. After some close inspection I decided that something was missing. There was an extra branch laying on my stamp table just begging to be put to use, so I cut it up and added it in sprigs to the branches on the left. Do you like this version better as well?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had more pictures of this version of the card but we had some major computer issues so these pictures are not currently available to me right now. It is imperative that I finish this blog post today so I don’t want to get bogged down into fixing computer issues, after all, here in Holland it is already late Friday afternoon.

To be totally honest, I am beyond thrilled with how this card turned out and I am also excited to share that  I figured out how to paint a cardinal without using cherry cobbler or real red. He will be the feature of Monday’s blog post.

 

The Measurements

 

If you are like me, you find it most helpful to be given the dimensions so that you don’t have to guess and mess it up or waste paper, so here you go!

Card base: basic black 6 1/8″ by 11″ scored at 6 1/8″ and 8 5/8″

Feels Like Frost designer series paper:  6″ x 6″ and 2 3/8″ by 6″ (tow of these) one on the front of the card and one on the opposite side.

 

Thank You

 

Thanks again for stopping by to read my blog, I hope you were inspired by my creation for today. Stop by again on Monday to see how I made some beautiful cardinals. If you live in Canada and don’t already have a demonstrator, I would love for you to shop online with me or if you are local to Chatham, Ontario then come to a class some time. To stay connected you can subscribe to my newsletter, that is where I promote my classes as well as on my business Facebook page which you can find here.

 


Product List

Crystal and Ice Feels Like Frost

Hello stampers! I was so excited to play with crystal and ice and Feels Like Frost designer series paper. This is all in preparation for my epic Feels Like Frost sweet suite class. For a year now I have been offering a monthly Sweet Suite Saturday class. This class is just a variation on that theme. Let me tell you a little more about that.

 

Sweet Suite Saturday

 

Sweet Saturdays was born from a desire of mine to give my customers not only the best “bang for their buck” or in fancier English, more value for their money. I also wanted to create a more relaxed atmosphere and a more intimate environment. Suites are also a very smart way to buy your products. Rather than dabble and get a little of this and that, buying the suite lets you make beautiful things with all the coordinating products. It results in limitless creativity. It can be compared to buying a complete outfit with coordinating accessories so you don’t have to go assembling an outfit one piece at a time. I think we can all relate to the endless infuriating search for just the right colour top to go with a beautiful skirt or vice versa. Save yourself time and frustration and get it all at once.

When my customers purchase the bundle they get to make four free cards. If they aren’t thrilled with the bundle they can also choose to simply pay a $25 fee for the class. Now that Stampin’Up! has introduced a comprehensive price for the entire suite which includes the 10% discount on the stamp set and die bundle I have created an “epic” option where you get eight amazing cards to make for free. It really is an incredible deal but I like to reward my customers for investing in products that will bring them lots of creative potential. The Feels Like Frost class is coming up quickly with two available dates, Thursday October 17 at 7pm and Saturday October 19 at 1pm. I might offer another date in November, but that depends on when my third grandchild decides to enter this world and meet oma.

 

Crystal and Ice

 

Shimmery crystal effects and ice stampin’ glitter are included in the Feels Like Frost suite. I finally got a chance to make a card using both of these on vellum! I was really excited to try that because it reminds me of hoar frost which is one of my most favourite things about winters in Canada. It was also born of necessity because I didn’t bring any glimmer or foil paper with me to Holland. Necessity is the mother of invention and I am loving the challenge. I adhered the vellum pieces with a little bit of tombow liquid adhesive because I also forgot to bring glue dots along! Let’s take a look at the card.

 

The Card

 

 

Do you see how lovely the ice stampin’ glitter looks on the vellum? There is shimmery crystal effects underneath to hold it all together. I almost felt guilty for covering up the shimmery crystal effects, but now you get double bling. The shimmery crystal effects would probably look really nice on its own as well. It is so nice to have separate dies that just cut out branches and snowflakes that mimic the foliage that is found in the stamp set Frosted Foliage.

 

 

I was inspired to make this card by Bronwyn Eastley. She used the polar bears from the Snow Globe Scenes dies but I didn’t bring that bundle with me to Holland so I opted to use the deer die cut stickers from Most Wonderful Time product medley instead. You can find Bronwyn’s card here.

 

 

The party gets carried to the back of this card where there is room to write a personal message as well as include a gift card or cash, both are always appreciated at Christmas time! I changed up the size of the patterned paper panels and I added the vellum accents and the crystal and ice.

 

 

On the last panel of the back of this card is a gift card holder. I didn’t have a circle punch to cut the usual half circle for the traditional “grip” for the gift card so I used the inside stitched framelit from the Frosted Frame dies, I just turned it on an angle. The result is quite acceptable and the opening is a little larger which will make it easier to extract the gift card.

 

 

What I like best about this last panel is the way the stamp and the die cut mimic each other for a cohesive look. Once again the shimmery crystal effects with the ice stampin’ glitter on vellum creates an ethereal look reminiscent of hoar frost. I think I’m in love!

 

The Story

 

As promised, I am going to share why there was no blog post yesterday. Our day started with a dramatic and frightening event. Gerard’s right hand man called him at 7:30 am in great pain. It turns out he was having a heart attack! Waiting for the ambulance to arrive was excruciating. I kept praying that God would spare his life and He did. Turns out that Ali had two blocked arteries. He underwent surgery right away and had two stents put in. The doctor told him he was lucky to be alive. Ali is 62. How quickly our lives can change.

After destressing from that I cleared up my stamp table and then Caroline van der Straaten picked me up and we had a lovely day together. We started with coffee and pastries at Bakkerij Vreugdenhil, then we went to the market in Wateringen and then we went home and had lunch. After another trip to a store called Action to buy some little lights we got to work punching and die cutting. The project? A beautiful framed Christmas wreath. It is still under construction but it was just so lovely to get together with a fellow demonstrator and friend just to create and have fun and catch up on each other’s lives. I am blessed!

 

 

Thanks!

 

Thanks again for stopping by to join me for the day’s creation and a story. I am thankful for your presence in my life and I am happy to share my creativity with you. That really is a big deal as it took a long time for me to see myself as a creative person. Happy stamping and don’t forget to sign up for classes if you are local. I still have it in my list of goal to create online classes but for now online orders are also lovely. You really are the lifeblood of my business, without you there would be no Pampered Stamper. Have a super day.

 


Product List

 

 

 

Super Simple Emboss Resist Technique

Hello stampers! Do you want to hear about my super simple emboss resist technique? It really doesn’t get any easier than this and the results are simply spectacular. That is exactly what we want in our card making experience:  great results with very little effort.

 

The Card

 

 

 

Here is a closeup of the tree and present collage. The presents were all fussy cut from the patterned paper that comes in the Most Wonderful Time product medley. You can see the gorgeous colour from the simple emboss resist technique. The blueberry bushel really makes the gold stars pop in the background. The star is made by pressing the framelit which is part of the product medley into the copper delicata ink pad and then running it through the die cutting machine on whisper white  cardstock.

 

 

The Technique

 

The reason this simple emboss resist technique is so very easy is that the embossing is already done for you! Twelve gold embossed card fronts are included in the Most Wonderful Time product medley. All you have to do to get this rich look is to sponge blueberry bushel ink all over the card front. The more you sponge the deeper the colour you will get. I prefer to leave mine with a little ombre effect so it is not the same depth of colour everywhere, but that is a personal choice. the sponging works best when you work in a circular motion starting off the edge and working your way inwards.

 

The Measurements

 

Card base: thick whisper white cardstock 8 1/2″ by 5 1/2″ scored at 4 1/4″.

Card front- no measuring necessary since it is included in the product medley, simply use as is.

cardstock vellum:  2 1/2″ by 4 3/4″ cut into a banner at the bottom

Blueberry Bushel cardstock- due to circumstances I had to fussy cut a circle! I used our tear’n’tape adhesive and traced the inside of the adhesive on the cardstock. It actually worked!!

 

The Christmas Tree

 

The tree was stamped in Shaded Spruce on shimmery white cardstock and then it was colour washed with an aquapainter. I then pressed a clear block into some Call Me Clover ink and used the aquapainter to colour wash the tree again to get a great depth and variance of colour. Let it dry for a few minutes and then use the die that comes in the Most Wonderful Time product medley to cut it out using a die cutting machine. Put a strip of tear’n’tape on the back of the Christmas tree and then wrap tinsel trim (also included in the product medley) and wrap it around the tree. Pop the tree up on the blueberry bushel circle and add some presents.

If you would like to see some of this card being made as well as a few other cards that I have blogged about in the past few days, you can watch my Facebook live video here.

 

A Story

 

If you have watched my Facebook live video, you might find it interesting to hear a little background story. I had originally given myself two hours to first make a card for my blog post today and then to get ready for my Facebook live. Then life happened. First three flower buyers came to negotiate prices with Gerard. He really wanted me to be a part of the process. So we had coffee and “gember koek” which is a delicious Dutch cake with chunks of candied ginger. The flower buyers had been told about me and they brought me gorgeous roses!! I learned that flower prices are negotiated to a tenth of a cent!! It’s a tough market.

Then I got a text from my Tante Nel asking if she could drop by. Well of course I was thrilled to see her and she brought a drawing that my Tante Irene had made for my mom the day before she died. I can only imagine how much that is going to mean to my mom. By the time my Tante Nel left it was 2:45 and I had fifteen minutes to prep for my video. That is why it was a bit crazier than normal today, at least that is what I like to tell myself. Perhaps this is par for the course, but at least it keeps things interesting.

 

Thank You!

 

I always like to thank you personally for stopping by to read my blog. There are many things that you can choose to do with your time and I am honoured that you have chosen to spend some time with me. I hope you were inspired to make some pretty Christmas cards with your friends. When you consider that if you chose to go out for an evening with a group of friends for some drinks and appetizers then you have a pretty good idea what that might cost. Consider the alternative of buying the Most Wonderful Time product medley and gathering with your own wine and snacks and instead making pretty cards that will be fun to do and also fun to send out. A fine investment I think and perhaps the beginning of a fun new tradition. Have a super day and happy stamping.

 


Product List

Most Wonderful Time Easel Card

Hello stampers! Have you noticed that there is a LOT of amazing paper in the holiday catalog? Maybe you missed the paper that is included in the Most Wonderful Time product medley. I thought I would showcase it by making a 6×6 easel card. Let’s take a look at it right away before I tell you some more stories.

 

The Easel Card

 

 

 

I thought I would include a close up of the presents in the bottom right hand corner. Did you know that when you make an easel card you need to have something dimensional to hold the popped up part in place? That is the purpose of the presents and the stars. Of course they had to look good too! I think I managed to combine function and style quite nicely. Some of the presents were stamped and cut using the framelit in the medley and some were cut from patterned paper. The one with the tinsel tied around it was inspired by a scrap laying on my stamp table. I thought, why not layer it on real red and turn it into a big present? Gold stars are also included in the medley.

 

 

Did I mention that there is a stamp in this product medley that stamps is a two-step DistINKtive stamp that is an image of three presents? There is a coordinating die that cuts all three presents out at once so you have three separate presents. I like to stamp them multiple times in different colour combinations so that when I create my scene I have different looking presents to choose from.

 

I will be offering a free class for everyone who orders the Most Wonderful Time product medley. The class will be held on Wednesday October 30 at 1pm and 7pm and we will make 6 amazing cards including this easel card.

 

The Measurements

 

I haven’t made an easel card in a while but it is one of the simpler folds to create and it is especially nice when you want to make a bigger card for a special occasion.

Card base:  5 1/2″ by 11″ scored at 2 3/4″ and 5 1/2″

The fold: fold the 2 3/4″ part up into a mountain fold. Make the fold sharp by using a bone folder.

Real red: 5 3/8″ square

Patterned paper:  5 1/4″ square.

Adhere this square to the bottom part of the mountain fold. I found it easier to put the liquid glue right on the white cardstock and then lay the patterned square in place.  Tie a piece of cherry cobbler 3/8″ diagonally striped ribbon around this panel. Cut a vellum circle using a circle framelit. I had none of these with me in Holland so I traced a disposable coffee cup and hand cut it! Hand cut circles are never flawless so I disguised this by putting sparkling crystal effects around the edge and then sprinkling on ice stampin’ glitter on it.

 

I put some candy cane die cuts on this circle and a banner die cut stamped with “Hope You Have a Wonderful Christmas” on it. The banner was popped up. Some mini dimensionals were strategically placed on the back of the vellum circle where there was die cuts. That way you can’s see the dimensionals through the vellum; that would really ruin the look!

 

Remember that 3/4″ strip that I had to cut off to make my patterned paper 5 1/4″ square? Well, when you turn it around you get this delightful striped pattern. I adhered that to the base of the card for a nice contrast. Then I made a collage of presents with some of them popped up and a few gold stars and there you have it! It really is a very simple card to make but it definitely has a wow factor. I will be showing you how to make this card during my Facebook live video tomorrow at 9am EST or at 3pm European summer time.

 

If all you are interested in is the card, you can skip to the last paragraph. Otherwise read on for an interesting story about my family here in Holland.

 

A Story from the Weekend

 

On Saturday night we had dinner with two of my cousins and their partners. One of these cousins was Corrina, the first one I ever met and became friends with when I came to Holland. Her mom, my Tante Nel, is my mom’s younger sister by 14 years! I first set foot in Holland when I was a year old. My mom was returning to her family for the first time since she immigrated. She had to wait ten years before that was possible! I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been. No wonder there were so many letters written over the years.

 

The next time I went to Holland was when I was 14. That is when I met Corrina. I thought she was so lucky to have such a young cool mom who listened to Abba. My Mom didn’t even know about Abba! I think I may have met Macheld that year as well but only for a brief introduction. She owned a croissanterie in s’-Gravenzande which is also Gerard’s hometown. You can see how my world and his world intersected.

My other cousin Machteld is a daughter of my mom’s sister Adrie who died from cancer at the age of 42. She was not only mom’s sister but also her best friend. They were only a year apart in age. That is why it was so special to have this dinner and reconnect with the one cousin and get to know the other one. Wow, did we laugh a lot! We discovered that we have a lot in common. We love to cook and bake and eat. We order food the same way (two appetizers instead of a main) and we ordered the same dessert, and yes, we both feel that dessert is the proper way to end a special meal. We all love wine and we all have a very special man in our lives. I thought I would share these pictures with you too!

 

 

 

 

 

De Jutte was the name of the restaurant which means The Beachcomber. The view was incredible of the waterway that is part of the Maas River and the canal system from Rotterdam so every once in a while we would see a big ship going by and even the ferry going to England! It was so very special to spend time with my cousins and with the people we love. We all agreed there would be more evenings like this one. Unexpected blessings from being in the old country! I guess I just thought it would be so meaningful for my 86 year old mother to know that the daughter of her closest sister would become close friends with her own daughter even though she immigrated 61 years ago!

Thank You

 

As always I want to thank you so much for joining me here on my blog, I do so appreciate each and every one of you and I love it when you share your stories with me too. Be sure to take another look at page 39 of the holiday catalog and imagine a fun time with your friends creating beautiful Christmas cards that will surprise and delight your family, friends and neighbours. Take some time to slow down and do something meaningful together. Turn on some lovely Christmas music, pour a little wine and get creative. If you need help you know where to find me, there is nothing I would love more.

 

If you want to shop with me and you live in Canada, it is super easy. Just click on the images below and you will land in my online store. Just create an account and start ordering. Please do use the current host code as that really helps me out a lot. You can find that code in the column on the right hand side of the blog. Happy stamping and have a super day.

 


 

Product List

Most Wonderful Time

Hello stampers! Have you noticed the Most Wonderful Time product medley in the holiday catalog? It is sort of a hidden gem since the pictures don’t really jump out at you. You can find it on page 39 of the catalog. It is chock full of great things.

 

What is in the product medley?

 

  1. a DistINKtive 11 piece stamp set, some of which are two-step stamps
  2. six framelit dies one of which cuts out three presents at once
  3. 48 sheets of patterned paper with gold foil accents
  4. 12 gold foil card fronts
  5. 7 sticker sheets that have deer, trees, candy canes, holly boughs and stars
  6. 10 yards of delicate gold tinsel trim
  7. 58 adhesive backed gold faceted stars

 

The Challenge

 

As my regular readers know, I am currently in the Netherlands on a working holiday spending time with Gerard. I  took lots of supplies with me so that I could blog and create and do my regular Facebook videos. However….I am missing so many things! This time I would have loved to have a few circle punches or my layering circle framelits. Trust me, it has been a while since I have cut out a circle by hand. It’s not pretty! We’ll take a look at the card and maybe you can spot the trick I used on this card to make it work.

 

The Card

 

 

 

 

Here is close-up of the pretty details in this card.

 

 

Do you see the trick I used to mask my hand cut circle? I put a line of sparkly crystal effects around the edge of the circle and then sprinkled on Ice Stampin’ Glitter. Definitely an embellishment opportunity don’t you think?

 

The Lesson

 

I have learned that a  new stamper needs a lot of products to make this hobby fun. Of course you can make do with less, but that isn’t nearly as much fun. Therefore each new stamper should really start this hobby by getting the starter kit. It is by far the best deal in the catalog and it also gives you a personal discount of 20% for a minimum of 6 months. How wonderful is that?

 

The Class

 

I will be offering a class with this product medley on October 30 at 1pm and 7pm. If you purchase the medley you will make 6 free cards. You can register for the event here.

 

Thanks

 

As always I want to thank you for dropping by. Did you know that behind the scenes I can see exactly how many people come to my blog? Blogging can be a lonely existence if no one drops by so I want to thank you and let you know that I see you and I thank you. Have a super day and happy stamping.

 


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