Hello stampers and happy Friday to you. Oceans apart. It sounds like the title of a movie or a book, but it is my reality right now. Truth is, you might even feel oceans apart from your loved one who live right here in Canada. Not being able to see your family and friends is tough, so how do you cope? Many people are discovering new hobbies, new recipes and new places to discover in their own neighbourhood. What are you doing?
Oceans Apart but Close at Heart
That sounds really cheesy, but it’s true. It’s true, not only for me and Gerard, but true for all of us. So many of you sent happy mail for Gerard and I am going to share a few more cards now as well as this video with all of them. Whether intentionally or coincidentally, your cards made Gerard feel like your really know him. In a minute I will tell you a little bit more about this wonderful man. In the meantime, here are some masculine cards that will also inspire you to create and share.
You’re a Classic
This is Debby Kainu’s car. I love everything about his card, the colours, the layout and the background stamping with the toolbox. The Garage Gears dies make it easy to add those great gear details and they cut out the car. Gerard has two classic cars that he has had for a very long time. One of them is his everyday car, a 1980s Toyota Supra, I think 1986 but I’m not the classic car fan. Close enough, right?
I was looking to see if I had another blog post about cars, but apparently not. Instead I came across this one that shows the Hugs from Shelli Paper Pumpkin kit. I just happen to have three refills if anyone wants one. Message me!!
This is Gerard’s nickname from one of my kids, can’t divulge which one. Holland is of course known for its tulips and Gerard is a flower grower. He grows amaryllis as a cut flower. In North America we know this flower mosty as a boxed bulb we buy in the stores around Christmas time and it flowers a month or so later. Jessica Bègin made this beauty. I really love how she used the punch in a unique way to make these fantastic tulips that pop. The saying she chose is also completely perfect for the occasion. Very impressive Jessica!!
Now I’m not sure if Jessica is a genius or I am an idiot, but I never realized that you can use the leaf punch from the tulip punch to also make petals for the tulip. I just saw them as leaves. The way they fit so perfectly makes me think that perhaps they were intended to be used as both. I’m so thankful for this inspiration Jessica! Flipping through the catalog I see that the patterned paper you used is from Follow Your Art. Thanks for a great card my friend.
It’s in the Details
I had to smile when I turned Jessica’s card over to open it. Not only did she decorate the flap of her envelope, she used a squirrel sticker to seal it. How cute is that? What do you do to personalize your envelopes? I have to admit that sometimes I leave them plain and boring, so this is challenging me to take the time to add that extra special touch. Even her handwriting is art.
See You Monday
On Monday I will blog again with some more cards from the Happy Mail for Gerard contest. Peg Dotson was the winner of the masculine stamp set. I wonder what my next contest should be? I love getting happy mail and blogging about the cards that get sent to me. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. The idea that just crossed my mind is fancy folds. Some people are really great at doing these and they have more time than I do to research the best ones. That might be a super fun idea to do, it is already growing on me but I am also excited to see what ideas you might have for me.
Please Order Online from me
I have read that sometimes we don’t get what we need because we don’t ask for it, so I am asking. Because of COVID-19 I can no longer do in person classes so this is seriously affecting my business. Online sales are more important than ever, so I am asking that if you follow me online and you live in Canada, please consider ordering from me. Every little bit helps! If you don’t live in Canada, then you can buy my tutorials, the page for that is in my blog header at the top. When I get finished with my kits for kids I hope to take time to write a new tutorial. Here is the host code if you plan to order online: CWD9ZZ2H
Thanks so much for joining me today and also for your feedback on Wednesday’s post. If you haven’t discovered it yet, I am also on Instagram as The Pampered Stamper and my YouTube channel is here. If you are a fellow demonstrator and you would like some training in an intimate group setting for a very reasonable price, you can also join my Pampered Stamper Training Group for only $5 a month. Just etransfer me or PayPal family and friends to [email protected] and I will add you to the group. Payment is done in six month instalments to make it easier to keep track of. Yay!! We have so much fun together and we learn a lot along the way. Have a super day.
Hello stampers and happy Tuesday. Today I want to share with you a very interesting and easy technique called the dryer sheet technique. I haven’t done this in at least a year but a gorgeous happy mail card arrived two days ago from Terry Hamilton and that is the technique that she used.
Terry Hamilton from Kelowna
Terry Hamilton lives in Kelowna, British Columbia. Kelowna looks absolutely gorgeous. Its name means grizzly bear in the Okanagan language and it is situated on Lake Okanagan in the heart of the Okanagan valley surrounded by mountains. Apparently it is close to Big White, a famous ski resort that my son Oliver would love to go to!
I loved reading Terry’s letter inside the card. She has been a Stampin’Up! demonstrator for 8 years has big plans for her business. She tells me that she has been following me for years and that is such a happy surprise for me since her name did not jump out at me as one I recognized from comments on my page or blog. Another blessing from this happy mail in Holland contest. You never know when you are touching someone’s life!
Terry’s Dryer Sheet Technique Card
Terry used the tree stamp from Winter Woods in shaded spruce with beautiful gold foil accents. I am guessing she started out with the shaded spruce and gold ribbon and built her card around that colour scheme. The framelit is from a set in the holiday mini but for the life of me I can’t remember which one and I don’t have the mini with me here. Help anyone?
Here you can also see the actual sparkle that happens with this dryer sheet technique. How do you do it? In three simple steps!
- Stamp your image on a piece of whisper white cardstock.
- Take a used dryer sheet and spray it with spray adhesive. Press it onto your stamped image and trim off the excess dryer sheet.
- Sprinkle on some dazzling diamonds glitter and tap off the excess! Adhere to card base as desired with varying mats.
If you do not have spray adhesive you could also take a glue stick and completely cover your stamped image, just be sure to let the image dry completely and also be sure to get total coverage. Here is a video by Tami White. I would have done one myself but I don’t have any used dryer sheets on hand (or any new ones either for that matter, I’m not sure if they use them over here in Holland, I will have to check) Thanks for your beautiful card Terry and I wish you every success in your business, I know you will do well if you are sharing and teaching cards like this one. The dryer sheet technique is perfect for beginners and seasoned stampers and also eco-friendly.
Grace’s Garden by Jean Saunders
Before I show you Jean’s card, let me tell you a little bit more about this delightful woman. Jean is a regular at my coffee and a card classes and she makes beautiful cards. She would make an amazing demonstrator but she would rather just enjoy her hobby at home and come to classes with me, but I have convinced her to let me do a few videos where she shows how she made a great twisted pop-up card. Jean lives in Chatham, Ontario and she used to run a home daycare where she also cared for ALL of her grandchildren. She is a fun, loving and super involved grandma and has such a close relationship with them that even the teenagers love to pop in and visit her and Jack. Jean is an inspiration to me with her kind heart, generous spirit and sense of humour too.
The dies from Grace’s Garden bundle are used to cut an opening in the card front in the shape of a garden gate, which is why the dies by themselves are called Garden Gateway Dies. Jean made a gorgeous inside scene as well that you can see through the garden gate. She is a very patient and meticulous stamper, #itsinthedetails. Did you know that Jean is super creative and has many different artisitic talents including tole painting, knitting, crocheting, sewing, baking and more. She used to sew kilts for her grandchildren for their highland dance competitions.
This last picture shows the closeup detail of the garden scene. Don’t you just love Jean’s cheerful colour combination of highland heather, calypso coral and call me clover?
Thanks so much for your beautifully detailed card Jean, it is a masterpiece.
Tutorials are created to help you make cards step by step to guarantee your success and to minimize frustration. They take quite a while to make as you need to type out all the little details involved in making a card. I am a member of the newly formed Demo Design Dream Team and we create a monthly tutorial that we do NOT sell but that we give away to people who join our team or who order through us. If you place a $50 order either online or in person, you will get this 16 project tutorial emailed to you as soon as I can.
I have two other tutorials that I have made. One is for the Parisian Beauty Bundle and the other is for the Botanical Prints product medley. They are $15 each and will help jump start your creativity. I am so happy to be able to offer these to you. If you purchase either of these products through me online I will send the tutorial to you for free as a thank you.
Thanks so much!
Thanks again so very much for joining me. I was having second thoughts about featuring two cards in my blog post since they were the last two in my happy mail stash. Just as I was putting the finishing touches on this blog post, Gerard came into my stamp room with two more happy mail cards that just arrived in the mail. I was reminded of the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread”. He is giving me my daily cards!! My heart is happy that you are participating in this fun venture. Have a super day.
Hello stampers and happy Saturday, Today I want to talk a little bit about what happens when stampers get together. It really doesn’t matter where you are in the world, when stampers get together, fun happens. We usually gather around a table with food and drink and first we talk and share our passion about creativity and paper crafting. Whether you make cards as a hobby or teach card making as a business, it makes no difference. We all get excited when we see other people’s work.
Dutch Demo Open House
What I noticed yesterday at the Dutch Demo Day open house is that everyone has different things to bring to the table. It can be small things like a very different approach to colour combinations to interesting ways to make boxes or folders for cards. It could be a talent for layering details to create a gorgeous focal point. Someone felt badly that they brought only two cards to show but I learned so much from both of them. One was a fold I have seen but never made, and the other one was a very simple but interesting layout for a card. I know that they will both give me great inspiration. The best part however is the shared enthusiasm and I love how we all go home with a lighter step. I made a couple of videos showing the cards that some of the demos brought with to show and share. Here is one showing Caroline van der Straaten’s work. She is on the artisan design team and you can find her blog here. Caro is also my new upline in Holland! This second video shows Diana van Otterloo’s work. You can find her blog here.
Happy Mail in Holland
Another way we as stampers are getting together is through this happy mail in Holland contest. We are virtually gathering around to see what the latest card is that came to my mailbox and I love that. Today I will be sharing a card from New York State and one from my home town in Chatham, Ontario. The first one is from Debby Kainu who I first met many years ago at a Stampin’Up! Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was a friend of a friend, Michelle Deslandes from Vermont. (At least this is how I remember it, I could be totally wrong, and if that is the case, I am looking forward to hearing the real story!) The second card is from my team member Yvonne Macfadyen.
Here is another view of Debby’s beautiful card. I love this fold, I featured in in my blog back in October, you can see it here. Debbie used the gorgeous Feels Like Frost paper that was so popular it sold out. Debbie is from Middletown, New York. This city is in the Hudson River Valley area in the foothills. I am quite sure I drove through this area when leaving New York City and heading to upper state New York on my way home to Ontario. So very lovely with all the hills and trees.
Yvonne was the first person to come to my coffee and a card classes. She is originally from England and has the most delightful accent. Yvonne loved card making so much that she was placing such regular orders that I encouraged her to get the starter kit. What a dilemma it was for her! She agonized over it for weeks. Finally I asked her, what do you have to lose? Well, the answer was clear. Nothing. She also knew she had everything to gain! Little did she know then that she would gain so much more than just some free bonus stamp sets, a great discount and some more goodies. She gained a whole tribe of friends and so many great experiences. Yvonne is not only my longest running team member, she is also my right hand for prepping for classes and for running my classes while I am gone and a true friend. What a blessing she has been in my life!!
Yvonne used the brand new set Positive Thoughts to make this gorgeous card. I love the colour combination, the use of white space and the clean and simple look of it. Fantastic card!! She made me order the set, so that is a good thing. Here is a look at the happy treatment of the envelope as well. When you stamp your envelope there is no doubt to the recipient that they are getting happy mail! It even makes the postman smile I think. The next time I blog about happy mail from Chatham I will tell you some interesting facts about my city.
Paying Attention to Detail
How many of you caught the fact that at the beginning of my blog I said “happy Saturday”? Well, I had every intention of publishing this blog post on Saturday but then we ended up picking up a rental car that is automatic so I could drive myself. Our loaner vehicle needed a car wash and the lineup was long. To make a long story short, it was time to leave for Deventer, a beautiful city near where Gerard’s youngest sister lives before my blog post was finished. I will tell you more about that lovely city tomorrow. I am going to publish this blog post today, even though it is a Sunday because most of the work was done yesterday and I don’t want to post twice tomorrow.
Thanks so much for joining me, happy mail keeps streaming in. I so appreciate all the love. This is what happens when stampers get together in spirit! Have a blessed Sunday.
Hello stampers and happy Monday to you. What is the most important thing in your life? That was the question we were asked in church yesterday and it really made me think. Sometimes we get so busy with our lives and the day to day things that need to get done that we forget to ask ourselves that question. At the beginning of a new year, indeed a new decade, I think it is a very good question to ponder. What do you spend the most time doing? If you have extra money where does it go? What do you spend a lot of time thinking about? When you answer those questions, you get closer to finding your “dioko”, the Greek word that means to seek after eagerly, earnestly endeavour to acquire.
There are lots of things that I love and that are very important to me and card making and stamping is at the top of the list. Traveling, baking, reading, pickleball, walking, wine, those are all great, but without my faith, without salvation, they would mean absolutely nothing. That is a sobering reality but also a deep comfort. What is your most important thing? What do you believe?
Happy Mail from Janis
On Friday I received this beautiful card from Janis Taylor from Chatham, Ontario. Janis is also on my team and I happen to know that she sends a LOT of cards to a lot of people. I first met Janis when she came to my Hearts for Haiti fundraiser. At that time Janis was still a public health nurse. Now she is a regular volunteer at the Chatham-Kent Hospice. We also play pickleball together once in a while and when we pair up we make a pretty mean team that I affectionately refer to as “Tall and Small”. Janis is convinced that all Dutch people are giants!
Here you can see some more detail in Janis’ card. The touch of silver thread in behind that gorgeous embossed frame from the Heirloom frames collection is so pretty. A few shiny black sequins add just the right added interest. I’m pretty sure she also ran the patterned paper through the Subtle embossing folder for a truly subtle touch. If you want to kick up your card a notch, this is a great way to do it! The focal point of this card is actually a Memories and More card from a few years ago. If you are looking for fun and easy card making, be sure to check out our Memories and More cards, they are definitely for more than just memory keeping.
Janis’ card fits in so well with what is on my mind today. It is so true that if you begin each day with a grateful heart you will be so much happier and your joy and gratitude will spill over to others that you meet. I am so grateful to Janis and to everyone else who has a sent happy mail to Holland. Your cards are a vivid reminder of how important card making really is. I am firmly convinced that it is so much more than just a hobby. What are you grateful for today?
I am so grateful for the added benefit of being close to my extended family while I am in Holland visiting Gerard. For most of my life my cousins have been people I saw only rarely and I often missed having family near by. Now it’s time to make up for lost time!! This weekend I visited with these cousins and my Dad’s youngest brother. Have you noticed that as you get older differences in age matter less and less? Staying in contact with my relatives is super important to me.
Being surrounded by centuries of history never gets old either!! Pardon the pun. Zierikzee is the beautiful city that is very close to the village where my Pap was born. This past Saturday I was able to show it off to Gerard.
This scene captures what I love so much about Dutch cities. They all have large open squares that serve so many purposes. It allows restaurants to have large terraces (patios) so people can sit outside. This space also serves as the location for the weekly farmer’s market and also for other town celebrations. It is just the perfect place to be gezellig. This time they had a skating rink set up for the kids as well as an “oliebollen kraam” where you get fresh treats and another booth where you could get a shot of Jagermeister or hot mulled wine or hot chocolate. So nice to see everyone outside together enjoying themselves.
Dutch people might not bake a lot at home, but there is no shortage of good food. All those lovely cheese shops!! Be still my heart. We did go into a bakery, but only to look. Carrying around pastries for a few hours didn’t seem like a great idea. Self-control was necessary because I was planning to bake an apple cake for my other cousins the next day!
I love seeing all the detail in the old architecture as well, so traipsing around an old city on a Saturday afternoon and ending with dinner in a small Thai restaurant was definitely a great way to spend a weekend. The weather wasn’t great, the sun had disappeared but at least it wasn’t raining and the wool hat that I bought at #OnStageQuebec has served me very well.
Free Tutorial with $50 order
Just a reminder that with a $50 purchase you get an amazing pdf tutorial with 16 cards from the demo design dream team. With a $60 purchase you get a free saleabration product. I am so happy to be able to offer you this little perk for shopping with me. I hope you have a super day. Thanks for dropping by.
Hello stampers. I am writing this Happy New Year blog post while my oliebollen dough is rising. My heart is once again happy with the arrival of more happy mail. It really makes me feel so close to all of you and it is a joy to share your work with everyone. Today I am sharing a card from Prince George, British Columbia which is half way up the coast to Alaska. Thanks Sandy Allman for this stunning card! Tomorrow or the next day I will share the second card. I’m going to keep you in suspense!
I love the story that the outside of the envelope tells as well, don’t you? #itsinthedetails The handwriting, the return address, the postmark, the stamps, they all tell a story and I love that. You don’t get those vibes from an email or a text, that is for sure! Take a look:
Do you see how the one post office has a special Christmas postmark with a wreath and Happy Holidays?
Sandy Allman’s card
If lots of layers means lots of love, then I am definitely feeling the love with this card. I had also forgotten that we had copper glimmer paper! There was one detail that also almost evaded me. Sandy even decorated the back of the card. Oh. My. Goodness. Sandy used the NIght of Bethlehem framelits which I just love. They just happen to be on the clearance rack right now in case you missed out when they first became available.
Here is the inside:
Finally the surprise detail on the back!
The Little Details
The last thing I love about Sandy’s card is that she signed the back of it and included the year. That can really mean a lot when you discover this card in your box of Christmas cards years later. It was a lot of fun showcasing Sandy’s card. Thanks for participating in the happy mail contest Sandy.
I hope that all of you are having a fantastic last day of the year. It is hard to believe that tomorrow it will be 2020. As a teenager in the 80’s the year 2020 sounded futuristic. Now it is our reality. It is time for me to begin baking oliebollen. This blog post was supposed to be done hours ago but I was having technical difficulties on the home computer. Picmonkey was only allowing me to edit one photo and then it balked. No fun!!
Thanks so much for stopping by. I may do a little live video of everyone enjoying oliebollen. We have a perfect day for it. Sunny and 8C. Blessed beyond measure.
Hello stampers! Happy Monday to you. I am sure feeling the love over here in the Netherlands. It would appear that I may have to start blogging about more than one card at a time. I still have two to feature and then two more arrived in the mail on Saturday. What a wonderful problem to have!
A Card from Shelley Merkin
Not only is Shelley’s card lovely, there is also a heartwarming story inside. Sometimes as stampers we would like more sayings for the inside of our cards but I always tell my people that the best thing you can put inside a card is your own writing. I am a huge proponent of writing more than just your name and a quick sentiment inside your card. Make it personal!! That will add so much more meaning and value to your beautiful hand made card. Your recipient will definitely feel the love!
Shelley shared about her responsibilities caring for elderly parents with declining health and also commisserated with me about living further away from her own parents than she would like. It is hard to not be able to spend as much time with your loved ones as you would like, especially when they need more care and attention. What really shone through with this card is how we can touch each other’s lives without even knowing it and that social media and the internet can truly be a powerful tool for connection and blessings.
Shelley used a technique called triple layer stamping for her card and if I remember correctly the stamp set used is one from saleabration last year. It is a DistINKtive stamp which I just love. I will do a video this week showing that technique. Shelley lives in Lawrenceburg, Indiana in the United States.
Karen Silvester’s Card
Karen chose to use the beautiful stamp set Nature’s Beauty since it is a stamp set that is being used to raise money for mental health awareness around the world. Her card is soft and pretty in balmy blue and whisper white. I love the touch of glitter. It really is amazing what a simple little extra will do for a card! Karen comes from Chaplin, Saskatchewan. Some day Gerard and I want to do a cross Canada tour in a camper, then I can see Saskatchewan and maybe even meet Karen. I really would love to meet all of you in person!
Thanks So Much
I am so enjoying sharing the cards that I am receiving. Tomorrow I will share two more. I just realized that tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and I am hosting a party and I will be busy making oliebollen, so there will be NO Facebook live video this week. Well, there might be an unscheduled one but not the regular weekly one. I know you understand and that you will most likely also be busy with festivities. Thanks for joining me today, I hope you have a super day!!
If you want to join in on the happy mail contest, my mailing address here is Jackie Bultje c/o Gerard van der Sar Bloemenlaan 6 2691 JC s’Gravenzande The Netherlands I will be here until January 29.,