Vintage Wondrous Wreath

I’m on a vintage kick now since The Paper Players Challenge got me wound up last week (when I made this card that Claire kindly picked as her “Cut Above” – thanks Claire! 🙂 )

It’s been a busy week, so I was excited to wake up on my own at 4:30am on Thursday to get an hour or so in for stamping and crafting before starting the day.

(I know – very strange – but it is that  [er ahem] ‘vintage’ here-she-goes-again phase of life where I am waking every night around 3 or 4am and often can’t get back to sleep…. )
You know – like everything else these days – I blame it on the meh eh eh eh eh menopause (sung to the tune of “Blame it on the Alcohol”).

Wondrous Wreath Hello Doily PP221 jlm

This week is a Color Challenge (PP221)  at The Paper Players to use Cherry Cobbler, Very Vanilla, and Mossy Meadow to create any type of card.  Well the colors lead perfectly into Christmas, and Christmas leads perfectly into Vintage, and Vintage leads perfect into Hello Doily (again) and Stampin Up’s Wondrous Wreath!  I also discovered that Just Add Ink has a Texture Challenge (JAI#240), so I thought I would play along with that too since my card certainly has a lot of “texture” to it with embossing, die cut, brad, bow, and layers.  🙂


With some Pinterest inspiration I discovered from Maggie Patterson @ I Love Papercrafts, I created this version:

Wondrous Wreath Hello Doily PP221 jlm 2

For my stampin’ friends:  To make this card, I started with SU Very Vanilla for the Card Base, then added SU Typeset Specialty Designer Series Paper (DSP) framed in black and sponged on the edges to vintage up, along with curling up a bit.  The wreath and bow are stamped with Mossy Meadow and Cherry Cobbler on Very Vanilla also, then die cut out.  The doily was done by stamping SU Hello Doily with Versa Mark on vellum paper, then sprinkled with white embossing powder and heat embossed.  I fussy-cut it out – a bit tedious, but love the results.  I also sponged with brown around the edges of this faux doily to vintage it up (as well as every other piece on this card). The banner and Joy sentiment were done with the SU Under the Tree Specialty DSP.  Topped it all off with an Antique Brad and linen thread bow, and Voila – another Christmas card ready for someone special – because I kinda love this one…. especially considering it was done on one cup of coffee and even before the sun came up 🙂 .

Wondrous Wreath Hello Doily PP221 jlm

Have a wonderful Friday and weekend!

Cheers & Hugs,




Making Christmas Cards

I can’t believe it will be November in a few days!  Christmas is going to sneak up on me this year – I just know it! I best get busy on some Christmas cards!

ornamental pine christmas pp219

I made two last evening, both using The Paper Players Sketch Challenge #219 as my inspiration.


I can’t decide which one to enter into the challenge….

ornamental pine christmas pp219 2

For both of these cards, I used the Stampin’ Up Ornamental Pine stamp set with various Christmasy DSP and heat embossed the sentiment with gold onto vellum.

So two more done, and……
….how many ever more I make….. left to go!

That’s how we roll
Life in between 🙂

Cheers & Hugs,

PS I’d love to hear which one you like better. Will you leave a comment and let me know?






Ferny Hello

fern hello

In need of a few special thank you cards, I really enjoyed creating this ferny hello card.

For my stamping friends:

The fern is a single Hero Arts stamp and the Hello is a die cut from WPlus9.

I stamped the ferns randomly on Stampin Up (SU) Whisper White card stock using VersaMark ink and then heat embossed with white embossing powder.  I sponged some green and yellow SU inks over all, then added a brush of glitz (which just doesn’t show up in the photo) with my favorite Wink of Stella clear brush marker.  I randomly placed a sprinkle of gold and silver sequins, adhered to SU Very Vanilla card stock and then the rich SU Mossy Meadow base.

This card went in the mail today.  I just love sending handmade cards out and hoping for smiles on the other end when the recipient finds them amidst the junk mail and bills.

Cheers & Hugs,


Silver or Gold

pp218 jlm 3 vignette

This week’s Paper Player’s Challenge (PP#218) is to make a card using Silver or Gold.


I always find it challenging to make a card with Silver and/or Gold for some reason, but I love The Paper Players Design Team and strive to participate in their challenge each week.  This is my third silver/gold card I made this week, and one that I finally feel worthy of submitting for the challenge.

I was excited to try true watercoloring on this card with brushes and watercolors.  (Well – at least my first stab at using paint and brushes to create a rather obscure, abstract background – gotta start somewhere!)


 I used my little starter watercolor set, which is Sakura’s Koi Water Colors Pocket Field Sketch Box to create my background on SU watercolor paper and then heat embossed silver snowflakes and the Merry Christmas sentiment from the SU Endless Wishes stamp set.  I added a couple silver sequins and framed it in glittery silver paper.  I then dabbed some white “snow” with SU’s Gorgeous Grunge stamp and added a piece of silver and white ribbon tied into a bow to the top.

pp218 jlm 3 inside

I continued the theme on the inside with more silver embossing from SU Endless Wishes.

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Another Christmas card done and ready to save to send to someone special on my list.

Cheers & Hugs,


Fall Christmas Shenanigans

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It was a girl’s field trip day on Saturday to Northeast Ohio for Christmas in the Woods!

Yep – more Christmas shenanigans!

What fun we had getting our Christmas crafting inspiration and shopping on.

Then, we topped our day off with a card-making / stamping class and dinner at Selah Restaurant in The Vault!

Check out the fun atmosphere that Shakerwoods turns into for Christmastime – 20 years strong now – – –  but my first time.

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It was a cool day with sprinkles off and on, but that made it all the more “Fall” like and got us in the Christmasy spirit.

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It was Colleen’s first trip to any kind of Arts & Crafts Festival like this.  She loved it, and I loved having her along!  We have such similar tastes and interests that make it so much fun to be mother and daughter “in-law!”

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We had a ton of fun with some of my old Middle School friends, Janet and Judi – and pretty much acted like we were back in Middle School.

Well – maybe just I did!

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The trip was organized by my friend, Stacey Ailes, who is a Stampin Up Artist Extraordinaire (check out her website/blog if you haven’t already).  Stacey did an amazing job corralling 11 women for a 14-hour day of adventure.

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Colleen immediately spotted The Burlap Factory and ran so fast over to it, I could hardly get her picture!  LOL!  🙂


The whole experience and scenery was just breathtaking.  From the little Chapel in the Woods…

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to the little Shaker School House….

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where Colleen found the outhouse, but alas someone was already in it.  (She is such a sport for posing and going along with my silly shenanigans!)  ❤

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Janet spotted this beauty for me to capture along our walk.

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The day was filled with beautiful scenery, tasty treats, and all kinds of fun and friendly people…

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Like this cute couple who were willing to stop and pose for a photo in their fun hats…

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or this lovely lady who I asked how she could eat ice cream on such a chilly day.   I came to find it was a Steamy BBQ Chicken and Mashed Potato “Sundae” with a cherry tomato on top, of course!

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One of the highlights of the trip for many of the ladies was a B.E. Taylor concert right smack in the middle of all the action where the beautiful Christmas music could be heard echoing throughout the woods.

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We bought some fun things and got a lot more great ideas.  We’ll see if the ideas come to fruition…

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The wonderful guys at the Great Harvest Bread Company had the cutest bench by their booth that said, “If you Knead to sit or just Loaf, please rest your Buns here.”  Since they were kind enough to let me take a photo, of course I had to buy some bread.  Italian Herb for me, and cinnamon swirl for Marty.  (and oh by the way – DELISH!)


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We passed on the fried pickles and fried snickers, but did enjoy an awesome reuben sandwich and sat with some folks who live right in our own hometown and are regulars on a different night at our hometown John’s Bar – so maybe we’ll see them again soon!


After getting inspired by the amazing crafters and talent, nourished body and soul with food and music, and spending enough money…

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We ventured out of the woods and drove to Selah Restaurant in Struthers, about 20 minutes away.

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What an awesome venue!  Graced with art, photography and design, Selah is located in a turn-of-the-century bank with a rich history that gives it a unique and charming character.

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Stacey had reserved “The Vault” for our special class and dinner.

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It was such a unique experience to sit in the charming setting of the old vault of the bank.

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Selah kept a lot of the original architecture of the bank, including the teller windows, adding such unforgettable charm.

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The Vault was softly lit with a dozen or more candles, which was wonderful for our dining experience, but a tad challenging for our crafting time.

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But it was way too cute and quaint for us to complain about that since we loved the atmosphere – and the company!

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Stacey does such a phenomenal job teaching newbie, beginning stampers (of which we had four) and challenging some of us more experienced with new ideas and techniques.  I sure admire Stacey’s talent, gift of teaching and sharing, and kind and generous heart.

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What made it EVEN MORE FUN was the fact that I got to see an “old” friend from a few years ago when the company I work for had an office in Northeast Ohio.  Charlotte and I have kept in touch through Facebook, and she has become a follower of my blog as well as a fan of Stacey’s talent.  When Stacey came up with this idea, her and Charlotte connected on this venue, and they created all this wonderful magic.

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Charlotte brought her forever BFF, and my new friend :), Carol.  They were adorable together.  They cannot remember a time when they weren’t friends.  You see, their parents were neighbors and they grew up together, went to school together, married high school sweethearts and still live only a couple blocks apart.

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These were their very first cards they made.  They did an awesome job, kept us smiling, and really enjoyed stamping.

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Judi also made her first card Saturday.  Here and Janet buddied up working on their projects.  Judi loved it so much, she wants to join our regular monthly classes at Stacey’s studio, so we are excited to welcome her.

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Here’s Charlotte doing her first embossing, and these three chickadees were our seasoned pros!  Cindy has a great website and blog if you want to check out here amazing talent here.  I always appreciate Stephanie’s kind encouragement and comments.  Nancy is a new friend I made that is married to a long-time friend and work acquaintance of Marty (such a small world!)

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We laughed our way through the evening.  (I was even hoarse by the time I got home!)

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And of course we had to finish off the evening with some pumpkin cheesecake and carrot cakes to tide us over for the hour-long trip home!

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Fun times with great ladies…

at life in between.

Cheers & Hugs,




Happy Boss’ Day & a Color Challenge

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Tomorrow, October 16, 2014, is National Boss’ Day.  (For those of you that forgot, aren’t ready, didn’t know – I thought I’d post a day ahead!)  🙂

I am one of the fortunate ones that works for a great company and has a wonderful boss, so I enjoy letting him know that I appreciate his kindness, fairness, support, and leadership.  I feel privileged to work for the company I do and in the field I do.  It is an honor to wake up every day and know that what we are doing in hospice and home health is making a difference in people’s lives.  We are helping people LIVE when they are facing the last leg of their journey.  We are providing dignity and quality of life.  We are helping families cope, understand, and support their loved ones.  I am truly grateful for the opportunity to do what I do and the boss that allows me to do it every day.

My boss is a man, so no “froo-froo, fussy-fuss” card for this occasion, but I thought I could use The Paper Players Color Challenge (PP217) to make a nice Fall gratitude card to honor my boss and the day.


For my stamping friends, I heat embossed the leaves with white on SU Whisper White card stock.  I then sponged on the SU Hello Honey, Tangelo Twist, and Mossy Meadow inks (in that order) and hit the edges with some brown distress ink to create a better edge.  I glued on a white border and then Mossy Meadow card stock base, heat embossed the SU Grateful for You sentiment on Mossy Meadow, hand cut and attached with dimensionals.  I finished it off with just a couple sequins, and though you cannot really see in the photo, I hit the leaves with a coat of Wink of Stella to give it a subtle sparkle in just the right light.  On the inside, I randomly stamped the maple leaf with the same three colors.

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So here’s to National Boss’ Day.  A great excuse for me to make a card!  🙂

Cheers & Hugs,



When things get blurry, stay focused!

geek is chic spectacular MFT

I’ve gone my whole life up until a few years ago without needing glasses.
I was always kind of proud to say I had 20/10 vision.  (not that I can take any credit for it)
Not 20/20 – – – but better!

And then it happened………
It seemed like overnight…
things got blurry…
I started moving things further out to focus in on…
I couldn’t read the “small print”…

I had laughed at Marty for years asking if I could hold the menu for him 10 feet away so he could read it when he stretched his arm out as far as he could to see it more clearly.

Payback is a bitch!

But it couldn’t be just that, I thought to myself.

So I went to the eye doctor telling him something was really wrong with my eyes, and that I suddenly seemed to need glasses.
We went through the whole rig-a-ma-roar of testing – and alas – he smiled and chuckled.
I still have 20/10 vision, he assured me…
For distance that is.

“But you see my dear,” he gently chuckled, “when people get around your age, they often need reading glasses.”

How did that happen?

Uh – Look in the mirror, Jodi! You are 51 years old!


So – yep – I’m part of that club that has a pair of glasses on top of my head or the tip of my nose as I walk around, and then I have to pull them down or push them up to read my iPhone or computer, or a book, or a recipe, or basically anything that is not FAR AWAY!

I’m in that club that has a pair of reading glasses in every room of the house, 2-3 pairs in my purse, a pair in the car, in my briefcase…

I’m in that club that can never find a pair of glasses when I need them.

I am in that club where husbands and wives borrow each other’s glasses in a restaurant to read the menu because one of us forgot ours.

And wouldn’t it be nice if we could just leave them on…… but NOOO – then you can’t see the object or person 10 feet away, because now distance is blurry through the reading glasses!

So……. it’s up and down…….   off and on……..   in and out…….   round and round!

Oh well – I keep reminding myself that I was 20 once, and 30 once, and 40……

As my friend, Pam (aka Bub) would say, “Be glad to celebrate growing old.” As a cancer survivor, she helps me remember the blessings of the opportunity to grow “older.”

And so I embrace it, and I chuckle at it, and I loved this stamp set and had so much fun making this card to celebrate the “gift” glasses are to me at this stage of “the game.” 🙂

Life is SPECTACULAR, and I’m looking forward to sharing this card with one of my “club members.”

Because life does get blurry sometimes — right?

Literally and in oh so many other ways!!

stay focused MFT geek is chic

Happy Fall y’all!

Wondrous Wreath Fall PP212

I know – Fall doesn’t officially begin until September 22, 2014 at 10:29 pm…  (impressed with my precisional detail? – my own made-up word, “precisional” 🙂 )

There are still 12 more days until the Autumnal Equinox, and I can assure you I am going to embrace every last moment of “Summer.”

But  – – – in my quest to also embrace Fall, I’m going with it here folks!

And… The Paper Players Design Team has a “Happy Fall y’all” Theme Challenge  (PP212) this week, so I thought I’d play along.


And… I know exactly who I am going to send this card to!

She is someone I work with, who L – O – V – E s Fall.

She always puts her Fall wreath on her front door for the first day of school.

Not sure if Jamie even reads my blog, but this card is going in the mail to my Fall-lovin’ friend, and I hope she enjoys it.

For my card, I used SU’s Wondrous Wreath and For All Things stamp sets and had a little fun embellishing with Crystal Effects on the berries and some fluffy, fuzzy Autumn Flower-Soft on the bow and acorns.

Happy Fall y’all!

Cheers & Hugs,


The Gratitude Challenge



blended bloom suo 104

So now the latest “thing” buzzing around on Facebook is the Gratitude Challenge.

The Ice Bucket Challenge was awesome and all – for a while – and it raised some great awareness for ALS.  I did it. Everyone did it.  I’m growing a little weary of it.

But now I’ve been “nominated” to do the Gratitude Challenge.  I just finished my first post, and I’m still feeling a little bleery-eyed from expressing my gratitude for “my guys” (my hubby and my two boys – well men now – but all the same my guys).  Feeling so…… well…… grateful…    so full… so blessed.

There is nothing like spending time thinking about things you are grateful for and expressing that gratitude to make you feel good.

There’s a lot of “crap” that results from social media these days.  My dad and I talk about it regularly.  He’s not such a fan of it all.  I’m pretty much into it.

I am in Corporate Communications…..

And I do like to be “social”  🙂

So despite the “yukky” stuff that comes about through social media (which I need not take the time to mention and remind you about),  like everything else, social media can be used for good as well as bad.

I’m feeling good about the Gratitude Challenge, and I’m also going to make it a point to send a card of gratitude every day for the next five days to go along with my posts.

The card I’m showing here is one I am submitting for the SUO Challenge #104.   This is my first submission for SUO, so wish me luck!  Here is the description of the challenge rules:

“Clean and Simple” – also known as CAS – is a style of greeting card that most of us have tried at one time or another.  A Clean and Simple card is one that doesn’t have a lot going on with it.  It can have layers and it can have embellishments.  But basically with a CAS card, anything that’s part of it helps us all focus on the single important element in the card, including in many cases lots of clean space that forces our eye towards that focal point.  Your challenge for this SUO Challenge is to make a Clean and Simple card.

I love this SU Blended Bloom Stamp and can get lost in “coloring” it with alcohol markers and just blending and creating shades and highlights and different colors.  I hope this card meets the criteria of CAS, as I feel the focal point is the flower and hope your eye is drawn to that when looking at the card.

And…. I am going to send this card to a few ladies that I haven’t met yet, but hear are following my blog, so I am excited to send it with an extra little treat and hopefully bring a few smiles.  🙂    (Hi TSM friends!)

Cheers & Hugs,



PS  Just in case you are wondering what I posted for my Gratitude Challenge Post #1, here it is:

Gratitude: Day 1

Janet Adams and Joyce Brugnoli both nominated me yesterday to do the gratitude challenge. Every day for five days I am challenged to list three things or people for which I am grateful. On each day, I nominate two people to do the same…. This is just about expressing thanks and recognizing amazing gifts in our lives. The sharing of my first three does not necessarily mean I am less or more thankful for those things or people that I share over the next days.
I could so overthink this as I am grateful for so many things in my life! I am having trouble narrowing down how to begin, so I will keep it easy by just expressing the first things that comes to mind…. 1. Marty (Merv) – the man I met when I was 16 and he was 20 – married when I was 19 and he was 23 – and that I still get to say “I love you” to every day – 35 years later. My rock – the man I cannot imagine my life without. 2. Our first born son, Jake – who changed my life forever by showing me the joy of motherhood 27 years ago. He gives me a hard time as often as he can, but also loves me so powerfully in a way that he and I “get” and enjoy. His intelligence and musical talent blow me away and make me so proud. 3. My “baby” Nick, who brought such joy to our little family 24 years ago when he joined it – all 10 bouncing pounds of him. He balanced us out by making us 4 and continues to balance us out in so many other ways. He charms me into doing anything he wants, gives me honest opinions, thinks like me, understands me, and humors me when the others don’t/won’t.

Love you Bunches

by the tide love you bunches 3

I cannot believe it is Back to School time already!  Where did the summer go?

And even though my boys are grown, I still get that funny feeling in the pit of my stomach this time of year…

When my boys were young, I was always a little sad to see summer end and have them go back to school.  Summer was so much fun!  I recall rushing to get our “chores” done in the morning, getting some semblance of a dinner started, even setting the table, and then spending lazy afternoons EVERY SINGLE sunny day at my friend, Barb’s pool.   Oh those were the days!   I was so fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom until Jake started 9th grade and Nick 7th grade.  There was no job I would have rather done when they were young.  (And I think that is why I can love my job so much now – because I have no regrets of time not spent with my guys when they were young – and since they don’t need me anymore – <SIGH!> – at least in the way they did when they were young – I needed more “purpose” to my days.)

I wonder if I’ll ever not get that feeling at this time of year?  When I hear my Dad tell me about the kids on the bus (and today is the first day of Kindergarten for the area where he is a bus driver – – – in his retirement after being bored staying home – – – hmmm – see any correlation there?! 🙂  ), my heart remembers those days of walking the boys to the top of the lane to meet the bus (and then take a walk with Tracy – who is still my walking buddy! 🙂 ) and passing the hours until they would come bounding home in the afternoon!

I sure did love those days and I sure do still love those guys – BUNCHES and BUNCHES!  And they both have terrific ladies they share their lives with now that I have grown to love also.   Marty and I are truly blessed.

Here is one of my favorite “First Day of School” photos taken at the bus stop, which is close to 20 years old!:

photoGosh!  How did I blink, and that turn into this?!?!?

JMW Nick Jake
Well – enough of that reminiscing!  Thanks for indulging me if you’ve read this far!  🙂

I hope you all are enjoying (or at least getting through) this back to school time of year!

The card I am sharing today is one I created for a new challenge to me – Freshly Made Sketches #151.  Here is the sketch we were presented with to create a card design from:

untitledSince I have lots of guys in my life, I need to come up with some more “masculine” cards.  For this design, I used SU By the Tide stamp set for the fish and seaweed, did a little watercoloring and sea salt technique to create my “ocean” background square, used some fun Neat ‘n Tangled “Punchinella” for an embellishment (cool stuff to repurpose the sheet that sequins are punched!!), a little fish scale look with my #WinkofStella brush pen (do you think I just love this brush pen because it is named after MY Grandma!? 🙂 ), and a couple of pearls for bubbles.

Enjoy – and Happy Back to School time!

by the tide love you bunches 3Cheers & Hugs,