The Power of Affirmation

Hello stampers! This thought has been brewing in my head for the last couple of days:  the power of affirmation. The simple truth is that we don’t affirm each other often enough. We are bombarded by advertising that shows us fake perfection that we simply can’t live up to and this can lead to feelings of inadequacy. There is a simple antidote to that. When you think something positive about someone, tell them.


How does affirmation relate to card making?


It totally relates!! I am on a bandstand right now trying to encourage people to send cards just because. Send a card to affirm someone, to tell them that they are loved, that they are wonderful and that you are just happy to have them in your life. That simple act can transform a day, a week, a month or even a life. Words of affirmation are priceless. So get out of the box of just giving birthday cards, Christmas cards and sympathy cards. It starts with turning thoughts into actions.


Pre-Christmas card


This idea just came to me because I really wanted to make this card but wasn’t sure how I could get it to fit my theme for today. Why not give a Christmas card ahead of time with the purpose being to not only affirm your friend but to give them a Christmas card that they can now give to someone else? All they have to do is change the sentiment which you could include in the inside of your card? I really like this idea. Let’s take a look at the card.



My inspiration came from a swap card from Carole Thomas, my talented team member from Olds, Alberta. This one has the heirloom embossing frame and die done in retired galvanized metallic paper. You see, I ran out of silver foil paper. My second card is done with champagne foil paper. Which one do you like better?



My photo didn’t turn out very well, it looks like it is only focused on the card on the right but maybe that is a trompe l’oeil? I used the Stylish Scroll embossing folder in the background which is hidden away as part of the Monster Bash suite on page 53 of the holiday catalog.




I hope you feel inspired today to send a card to someone for no reason other than to affirm them. Maybe you were also inspired by my idea to send an early Christmas card that they can re-gift to someone else. That way your card has served at least three purposes. First it made you happy making it. Second, the person who received it was affirmed and delighted with happy mail. Third, your recipient now gets to pay it forward to someone else with a beautiful Christmas card.




I’m so happy you stopped by today. I have been so blessed with lots of comments in the past few days, thank you so very much! I hope you have a super day. If you need any of the products for your own card making and you live in Canada then you can just click the links below and go straight to my online store. Please consider using the current host code. I appreciate you!


On a very important side note, we had our first prayer group after coffee and a card class this morning and it was so wonderful. A big thank you to my daughter Katrina for suggesting it. What a blessing it was to everyone who participated.


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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.


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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 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.


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Reversible Deer

Hello stampers. Yesterday I did a Facebook live showing how to do reversible deer in two different ways. Unfortunately I have a really bad cold so I am going to do a simple blog post. I don’t have the energy to show you step by step photos for the reversible deer but I will share the link for the Facebook live in case you missed it. In this video I show you how to make three different cards using the deer from Nature’s Beauty with two cool folds as well. I will blog about all three cards this week but for today I am just going to talk about the reversible deer.


Reversing the Deer using the Stamparatus


The most common way of creating a reverse image is done with our fabulous too, the Stamparatus. Place the silicone mat in the stamparatus, right into the corner. Position your stamp where you want it to go on the silicone mat. Make sure you have a piece of card stock ready that is cut so that it will be big enough to cover the area of the stamparatus where the stamp is. Ink up your stamp and stamp it directly on the silicone mat. Be careful not to ink it up too much or your image will be blurry. Lift the stamparatus plate, place your card stock in the corner and lay it carefully over the stamped image. Put the magnet on it and then stamp the image again. You can ink up your image again if you plan to use both sides of the image. Take a look at what you have created! You will see that you have a mirror image on both sides which you can now either fussy cut or use a die if there is a coordinating one. There is no die for the deer from Nature’s Beauty but it is very easy to fussy cut.


Reversible Deer with Vellum


It was totally by accident that I discovered the easiest way to create a reverse image deer. For one of my cards I needed a vellum deer. When I turned the deer over to adhere it to my card I noticed that you could see the image just as well on the other side! How awesome is that? No muss, no fuss, that is my kind of “technique”! Another bonus to doing it that way is that you get two different shades of deer, just like in real life. A good tip is to sponge liquid glue like Tombow just on the legs and body of the deer. This gives the deer a little more “movement”. The deer will look like they are inquisitive and inclining their heads towards you a little bit. Trust me, it really does look like that! When you have vellum deer it won’t work to use dimensionals since you will see them through the vellum.


The Card



I got the idea for this card from Rachel Tessman. She loves the Feels Like Frost paper as much as I do and she wanted to use it in such a way that you can see the full six inches of it. I tweaked it a bit by changing the measurements to use even more of the paper and I added a vellum deer because that is what I have been wanting to do for a while with this paper.




I have to say that I love Rachel Tessman’s idea of using the framelit from Feels Like Frost and deconstructing it to use the elements to pop behind the front of this card. It is a good idea to think outside the box and use this paper not only for Christmas cards. I have limited supplies with me in Holland so I used the framelit from the Most Wonderful Time product medley for the words. The sentiment came from Toile Christmas.


The Measurements


The early espresso card is a regular size, 8 1/2″ by 5 1/2″ with just one extra score line at 1 1/2″ as well as the regular score line in the middle at 4 1/4″. The patterned paper is trimmed to 5 3/8″ and then cut in strips of 2 3/4″, 1 1/4″, and 2″. At the far right you add a strip of white card stock 2″x 5 3/8″. The optical illusion is that when the card is folded into a z-fold style (the first part is folded back towards you) then you adhere the patterned paper just on one side so that it extends past the cardstock. Clear as mud? Watch my Facebook live video here and it will all make sense.


I thought I would end this blog post with the picture of the reversible deer card that I made during the Facebook live video yesterday. This card has no cabin and the puddle is also darker. There were a lot of positive comments on this card so here it is!



We will make the Feels Like Frost card with the vellum deer at my class on October 17 and 19, you can read more about it here. If you purchase the Feels Like Frost suite you will make 8 free cards, if you purchase the bundle you will make four free cards. I know it is going to be an epic class with amazing cards and lots of fun.


Thanks so much for joining me today. I have not accomplished nearly as much today as I had hoped but I am very thankful that I could at least share this blog post with you. Happy stamping!


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