Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hello! Holiday Cards - Christmas and Thanksgiving!

Hello there Friends!  Gosh it's been a while since I last blogged!  I do miss blogging.  It's been a huge part of my life and maybe I'll start blogging again on a regular basis.  I've thought about it but we'll see. 

What have I been doing?  Well, I've been busy with life.  For one thing, I decided to return to college. Yay me!  I've been enjoying the experience of learning something new again.  I'm actually pursuing 2 post-baccalaureate certificates in Medical Case Management and Community Case Management.  They are certificates for RNs who want to move into the field of case management.

I've always wanted to do case management work and hopefully, in the future I'll be able to land a job in this area of nursing.  Many of the jobs in the field are within the community and I've been learning quite a lot so far.  I'm currently taking a Clinical Ethics class and many of what we are learning has really helped me to understand what is going on with the Ebola crisis. It's a very interesting course so far.  I'm really enjoying learning more about the ethical dilemmas that occur in the medical field. 

Anyway. . . that's what I've been doing.  I am still making cards regularly but I haven't blogged my cards in a while. I usually just post them on my Etsy Shop and on my Facebook page.  Social media has changed quite a bit in the past year or two, where Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter have been the main area where people share their work as opposed to blogging them.

I think the reason why a lot of people turn to Instagram, FB, etc is that there is instant gratification.  The interaction is more social and you normally receive an instant response.  And with the fast pace of life, it's easier to post a small blurb than to write long commentaries.  I don't know. . .I have noticed that many of the more active bloggers don't blog as often as they used to or there are less of them it seems.  I'm not sure if most of them moved on to sharing their work on Facebook or the other social media sites.

I've noticed recently that the majority of the Christmas images I have are snowman images.  I have a lot of snowman rubber stamps and very few Santa images.  I thought that was interesting.  I never really noticed that in the past.  Believe it or not but I've had these High Hopes rubber stamps for years and I've never used them!  I have so many rubber stamps that I just can't get around to using all of them. Yes, I have that many.  It's actually insane how many I have.

Another thing I hoard and use with great care are the retired Stampin Up designer series papers.  I still have designer papers that retired several years ago.  Honestly, I prefer the older prints than the newer ones.   I miss the old colors too.  You'll notice a lot of my cards use the older designer papers because I use every piece of paper and waste none.  One sheet of 12x12" paper can go a long way.

This snowlady image is by High Hopes.  I bought both the male and female images back in the day.  Snowman images will always be a favorite of mine so I don't think I'll ever part with any of the snowman rubber stamps I own.

This is another rubber stamp image that I never used until now.   It's an image by the Greeting Farm.  I thought she was a perfect image for a Christmas card.

One of the embellishments that I use a lot on my cards are flowers.  I have a buttload of them that I bought in the past and despite using them on literally every card I make, I still have a buttload of them left.  It's really incredible how crafters tend to overbuy when it comes to embellishments.  Then instead of using them, we hoard them.  My goal is to use them up and not to buy in bulk anymore.

I can't remember what brand is this rubber stamp.  It's unmounted rubber so I threw away its packaging so now I can't remember who made this image.

Another thing I've been using regularly lately are my Prisma Color Pencils.  Remember them?  I remember when they were the big thing before Copics came along.  After I started using my Copic Markers, I stopped using my Prima Color Pencils.  Well, I brought them back from the depth of the storage dungeon and began using them again.  I use them for the background coloring and for shading.  I really dislike the fact that I had bought a lot of things in the past and forgot about them when a "new" big thing came along.  It's consumerism at its best!  But the good thing about materialism and consumerism, the old usually finds its way back to the present.  It's like a revolving thing. . .just a part of the circle of life.

This image is by CC Designs.  I've used her several times in the past.  The only thing different about this card is it's size.  I found a stack of 6.5 x 4.75" Stampin Up envelopes, again in one of the containers that I stored and I decided I need to make cards for them.  I rarely make the standard 4.25 x 5.5" size cards anymore although I know I should because I have many A2 size envelopes (again, one of my many purchases).  The reason I usually make 5.5 x 5.5" square cards instead of the A2 size cards is because I have a larger area to work with.  I can add more embellishments and use larger images which I tend to have a lot of.  The A2 size card have so little space that some of the larger images overwhelm the whole card.

I noticed that the trend in the card making world is to use less ribbons and designer papers.  Card making has gone the simple, minimalist route which is a trend in all areas of life it seems.  Many people are purging their things and opting for the more minimalistic lifestyle from clean food to owning less things.  I am all for minimalism.   I'm trying to do the same thing in my life. . .well, not the clean food.  I haven't gone that far yet.  But in the meantime while I still own a lot of things, my goal is to use them up and not necessarily purge everything.  So one of the things I do is use a lot of designer papers and ribbons on my cards.  I haven't jumped on the "simple/clean" cards bandwagon yet.  Not until I've used up as many of what I have and maybe I'll consider going simple!

 My first Thanksgiving card this year!  Do you see the sunflower images?  There was a time when I bought a lot of "microbeads". . .remember those?  Well I decided to use them on the flowers and I really like how they turned out.  In the past, I used the microbeads for shaker cards but I think they look great on flowers to give them a bit of a dimension.

I think you can see the microbeads better in this photo.

 Oh my first Santa card this year!  I used a retired Stampin Up rubber stamp for this card.  I did make a new purchase recently.  I bought the Zig Wink of Stella glitter brush.  I bought the clear one but I'm thinking of buying the set.  I really love them.  They add sparkle to your colored images without have to deal with messy glues and glitter. 

To color the background, I used my Prisma Color Pencils.  I'm so glad I never sold my Prisma pencils.  It is now turning out to be very useful.

 Mr Snowman again!  I used this Stampin Up snowman image every year for at least the past 5 years or even more.  It's one of my "go to" snowman image.  I stamped the snowflakes in the background and used Stickle glitter to give them a little sparkle.

This card turned out to be very sparkly with my using the Stickles and Wink of Stella glitter pen.

Last but not least, another Thanksgiving card.  And. . . it's my first time to use this retired Stampin Up image.  I've never used it.  I've always been meaning to use it but never got around to using it.  There are only so many cards I can make.  I wish I could use all of the rubber stamps I have.  I have so many pretty ones.  I'll try harder to use the ones that I've never inked so I'll feel less guilty for buying them in the first place.

Well that's it for now.  Thank you for stopping by my blog and it's nice to be here again.  I hope to maybe post again some time soon.  In the meantime, stop by Facebook page or my Etsy shop to view the new cards I make.  I'll try to post again soon!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
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Chriserendipity said...

Maria, you just made my day by sharing these AMAZING cards on your blog today! I used to always love to see your creations when you posted regularly, and was so sad when you took your hiatus from it! You are the absolute "Queen" of using Designer Papers, ribbons, flowers and embellishments IMHO, and pulling it all off in such unique, class ways, too! I only wish I had a small shred of your talent to share with the gals in my Stamp Club!
Chris in Calgary Canada

Lisa Davis said...

Hi Maria, I really enjoyed this post today! I love all of your awesome cards and snowmen are some of my favorite. I love all of the layering of the designer papers from SU, I have a lot of those myself lol. Thanks for sharing.

Patti Willey said...

{Score!} OMGosh! I've hit the mother-load today with your gorgeous Blog Post! Thank you for being in my In Box today! Oh I love your use of retired papers! I am also bent on using all things I've purchases be it retired or not!! Love love love these layered looks and I agree...the paper crafting trend is CAS but my first love is the layers, DSP & Embellishments so please find time to post!! Now I'm off to pin your Gorgeous creations!! Best of luck with your schooling! You go Girl!

Debbie Fisher (debbiedee) said...

lovely cards! I love your layouts of your cards and all the detail

BJ Searcy said...

Maria, Love your cards, they are beyond pretty. Love the way you mix and match your designer papers. I too have a stash of micro beads, love them on your flowers. Good luck with your continued education.

Beth Norman said...

Welcome back to blogging. Your cards are gorgeous. Like you, I blog less and really want to start at it again.

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