Hello stampers and happy Thursday to you. Today I am featuring cardinal happy mail from New Brunswick and the artist is Sue MacDonald. Sue is from the city of Moncton which is famous for it’s tidal bore in the Petitcodiac river which makes the water flow backwards during the tide! You can read more about this fascinating city here. I love that it was first settled by Pennsylvania Dutch people in the 1700’s. Moncton is a resilient city that has bounced back from two serious economic downturns. How inspiring!
Sue MacDonald’s card
Here is Sue’s beautiful card featuring one of my favourite birds, the northern cardinal. She used the Toile Christmas stamp set and Toile Tidings paper with a very vanilla cardstock base.
I love all the details in this card. The sentiment is stamped in memento black on a very vanilla oval. There is a vellum overlay to soften the colours of the patterned paper which allows the cardinal to really pop. If Sue had not used that clever trick the card may have looked too “busy”. It is truly a lovely effect. The branch and the cardinal were both coloured with Blends which give a very rich effect. Have I mentioned that I am totally addicted to Blends? Colouring is very therapeutic and Blends make it easy, even for people who are a bit afraid of colouring. More than one person at my classes has been converted to the joy of colouring after using Blends!
Once again, I had to take a picture of the envelope. I love how the envelope also tells a story and has it’s own beauty. Of course, the fact that Sue stamped some prancing deer on the front definitely takes it up a notch! I think I have just been inspired to do something very special with all these envelopes!! This “happy mail in Holland” contest is really bringing me a lot of joy and I thank each and every one of you for participating. Are you enjoying “traveling” to the different places these cards are coming from?
I think the deer may be contraband, which is my pet word for any products that are not Stampin’Up! No worries, I have my own little contraband stash at home. I love wooden vintage stamps so I have a small collection of those. If you want to participate in the contest you can send me your card at Bloemenlaan 6, 2691 JC ‘s-Gravenzande, the Netherlands.
Thanks so much for stopping by today and for taking the time to comment, to pin my cards or to share my posts. I am grateful that you are a part of my tribe. Happy stamping and have a super day. Remember, if you are feeling down, the best way to cheer up is to do something nice for someone else. Happy mail is always great to make and to give. Hugs from Holland! Say hello to any cardinals you might see in Canada, I am missing this iconic red bird and the snow. If you want to see another card made with this beautiful cardinal, check out this blog post .I gave this card to my Oom Stoffel this weekend. Here is another post where the cardinal is converted to a blue jay.
Happy Saturday stampers. As a scrapbooker and cardmaker I love patterned paper, just the way I loved fabric when I was a seamstress, Seamstress sounds better than sewer because that looks just like a much yuckier word! Pretty patterned paper is great used as a focal point, and one of the cards today will show that is true.
Happy Mail Continues
The happy mail continues so I am also continuing to blog on Saturdays to keep up. What a fantastic “problem” that is. I have to say I am overwhelmed with the response to my request for happy mail in Holland. It is such a nice role reversal for me to be inspired by my readers and I am loving it. Have you seen your card featured on my blog yet? It’s not too late to participate, I am here until January 29. The address is Bloemenlaan 6, 2691 JC s-‘Gravenzande, the Netherlands
Ann Marie Paré is from the small town os Lachine just outside of Montreal, Quebec. She is such a sweet and thoughtful person. Even though she is battling cancer she still finds the time to leave encouraging comments on blog posts, videos and Instagram and Facebook posts. I met her at OnStage in Quebec City and she joined my team a few months later. We look quite funny standing beside each other. She is under 5 feet tall and I am 5’9″ so I look like a giantess!!
I love the combination of the hammered embossing folder with the copper foil paper and how you can see the copper through the little diamond openings in the label. Who can help me and tell me where that is from? The lovely sentiment is stamped in copper ink which is sadly out of stock. Ann-Marie did such a lovely job colouring the holly too. It really is a gorgeous stamp and I just happen to know that it will be returning next Christmas so we can put it to good use again. (thanks to Linda’s comment we now know that the die is from the Peaceful Boughs set in the holiday catalog)
Patterned Paper as the Focal Point
Now I am not going to tell you just yet who made the next card. I can give you a hint. The handwriting on the envelope was definitely Dutch but the card came from Canada! I love how she used both Toile Tidings paper and Brightlly Gleaming paper as focal points on her card. Simple and stunning.
Hannie Van der Zanden lives on a farm near Highgate, Ontario which is about a half an hour from Chatham where I live. Hannie and her family immigrated to Canada when her kids were teenagers, more than ten years ago. How courageous! She travels and back and forth to Holland even more than I do. Here is her beautiful card.
By punching out the paper strategically Hannie used her paper as a focal point and I love it so much. Thanks so much for your pretty card and for reminding me of this simple way of using different papers together as a focal point.
Botanical Prints Product Medley tutorial
I am so happy to be able to present to you this great tutorial. These are also the cards we will be making at my February retreat in Muskoka. Check your calendar and see if February 20-23 will work for you!
This is a picture of a skating trail in Arrowhead Provincial park which is about twenty minutes from the cottage near Huntsville. Some evenings it is lit up like this. I love the idea of skating through the snowy woods. I think the trees would block the wind, don’t you? I am not a great skater at all, but I am definitely going to give this a try. There are so many nice things to do in this area and it is also beautiful to completely relax in a cozy cabin. I really hope that you consider joining me. If you want to make a deposit to hold your spot, just click on the button below.
Hello stampers! It is my last day here in Canada so I thought happy mail would be a great topic. Happy mail is a handmade card between the bills and flyers and it is always appreciated. When you see that special sized envelope in the mail with handwriting on the front of it, you just know you are in for a happy surprise. I received happy mail yesterday so I thought I would share those cards with you today.
I got this lovely card from my team member Karen Gardner. The snowmen are vintage, from many years ago. She told me it was one of the first sets she got. I love that!! This card has so much sparkle in real life.
This stunning cardinal card is from team member Jean Burke. I think the paper might be contraband but the cardinal is from Toile Christmas. Her idea of putting the sentiment on an angle like that is really great!
This last beauty is from fellow demonstrator Marion Greenlund. I love how she combined the trees from Winter Woods with the Feels Like Frost paper and the stitched rectangles framelits. The foil is from the Peacock suite.
A Great Idea
I had a great idea this morning. SInce happy mail is so wonderful I was wondering if you would like to send ME happy mail in Holland! I would then blog about the cards that I get in the mail and at the end of my stay in Holland I will choose one lucky winner to get the Poppy framelits from the new catalog. Here is my mailing address:
Jackie Bultje c/o Gerard van der Sar
2691 JC ‘s-Gravenzande,
Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands
Free Shipping Tomorrow
Just a reminder that tomorrow there is free shipping on orders of $65 or more. This will be the perfect opportunity to try ordering online and have your products delivered straight to your door. Please do use the current host code as that is a great help to me. Do NOT use the code if you are placing an order of $200 or more, then you will get your own host benefits.
Thanks for dropping by, I am now off to my parents and then on to the plane tomorrow at 6pm. Yay!!!
Hello stampers! Does monochromatic Christmas sound boring to you? Or does it sound complicated? This week I had a request from one of my club members to take the mystery out of our wonderful Snow Front stamp set. The sheer number of stamps in there can be daunting. Let’s take a look at why I chose a monochromatic Christmas card for this set.
I had two sources of inspiration for this card. The first one was the Toile Christmas paper, the second was The Cow Whisperer. Now I love that name as I grew up on a dairy farm. But that is where the similarities end. You see, I was terrified of cows. I had to help with the milking and we had a few cows that were downright mean. They could kick sideways and they would do it when you least expected it. Most cows are gentle, but when you meet a mean one, look out!! There was no whispering then! Anyways, here is her card.
The idea for a monochromatic card was indeed inspired by the paper as it is also monochromatic. If you would stamp a colourful scene and put it on this paper it would be too busy. When you use Snow Front in just one colour it is not so overwhelming. I chose to use Garden Green, but you could also use real red as that is the colour on the other side of this stunning paper. We used to have wallpaper in our living room that reminds me of this paper. Maybe you did too?
Start by putting all your stamps on blocks. Then decide what sort of scene you would like to make. I like to take some cheap computer paper and play a bit. That takes the stress out of it as you are not wasting any of your precious cardstock.
The Most Important Tip
The most important tip when working with Snow Front is to use a mask. For this card I made a mask of the cabin. The way it works is that you first stamp your cabin where you want it to go. Stamp it again on piece of sticky note paper, cut it out and place it over your stamped cabin. Then you can stamp some trees around the house and it looks like the cabin is nestled in the woods rather than just floating in the scene. The other tip is to stamp multiple times without reinking, that will give you different shades of colour for a more realistic look.
I stamped the cabin first and then covered it with a “mask” which is just another cabin stamped on a sticky note and cut out. That allows you to stamp over your mask so that the trees and the slope come right up to the cabin to make it look like a unified scene. There are three different sized single trees in Snow Front. Your scene will look a lot nicer when you use different sized trees. I will do an exclusive video on how to make this card on my Pampered Stamper Elite Group on Facebook. If you want to be a part of this group you can be! All you need to do is place an order with me, either for product or for a kit. Kits can be shipped anywhere!
The stitched rectangle framelits are perfect for adding detail. “Lots of love at Christmas” is from Itty Bitty Christmas. What I liked best about using these two stitched rectangle framelits is that I didn’t have to do any fussy cutting. The sentiment fits right under the very vanilla rectangle, and because it is curvy you don’t even have to worry so much about trying to get it perfectly straight.
Don’t you just love how all the Stampin’Up! products coordinate? The garden green double-stitched ribbon is also part of the Toile Tidings suite. Very vanilla is the colour of the card base which is also the background for the Toile Tidings designer series paper. If you want to really take it over the top with coordination you can wrap your gift in our exclusive Toile Tidings gift wrap!
My lovely Clementine
I just had to end this blog post with a few pictures of my darling Clementine. She is my third grandchild who came into this world in the middle of a snowstorm just before 2am on Friday November 8. Oma missed her birth by about ten minutes because of that nasty storm. So did the midwives! My brave daughter delivered her 9 pound 6 ounce baby herself. Both are doing so well.
It is pretty awesome to be able to hold your grandbaby so soon after birth. Oh, those cheeks and that tiny nose! I’m so thankful that everything went so miraculously well given the circumstances. God is so good.
As always, thank you for stopping by today and reading my blog post. I love hearing from you! Thanks for sharing my creations on Pinterest and on Facebook and thanks to those of you who are ordering online from me and also ordering kits. I hope you have a wonderful day.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.