Christmas [Cards] in July!

In The Studio

We all have that friend, you know the one, who starts posting __ weeks ’til Christmas posts on their Facebook wall starting in, oh, February? Or maybe you are that friend? Either way, for those of us not preternaturally tuned to the Christmas countdown, such posts strike a frisson of fear down deep in our bones.

Or maybe just me.

But this year, I’m ready. I’m ready because last year I ordered both the regular Simon Says Stamp monthly card kit AND the additional, deluxe, Simon Says Stamp kit.

And did absolutely nothing with them.

Okay, that’s not 100% true, I opened them up and oohed and aahed over the cute stamps and the pretty papers. That counts, right?

But I didn’t make the cards.

And not only did I not make the cards, I ended up going to the store at the last minute and purchasing assorted pre-printed cards to send out to our nearest and dearest.

Crafter fail.

This year, though, I get to redeem myself because, hey, there will always be another Christmas, and so now those kits have been dragged out and put to good use.

With the addition of some card bases (purchased in a multi-pack from Tuesday Morning), a few spools and/or bottles of adhesive, and a couple additional ink pads, the cards came together over a couple of weekends.

To see how the different cards came together (there are only a handful of the 33! that are actual duplicates), watch the video of me putting them together:

It’s at ludicrous speed, but still helpful. (I had to do something to squeeze 6 hours of footage–and that didn’t include all the coloring–into a theatrical release!)

A “Blissful” Afternoon

In The Studio

I’ve actually had a few of those, lately, thanks to making time for myself and various projects I want to accomplish. But the afternoon I’m talking about, today, is the one that happened about a week ago when I got into the Blissful card kit from Simon Says Stamp and made a good stack of cards from this gorgeous kit!

To see and hear how these cards came together, check out the video, below, or head over to my YouTube channel:

Like most of the Simon Says Stamp kits, this one has sold out, and the stamp set it’s built around is out of stock at the moment, too (though you can sign up for the waiting list to be notified when it’s available again). Still, a supply list is the thing to do for a post like this, so here you go! (the following list may contain some affiliate links)

SSS Blissful Card Kit (out of stock) which included:

To which I added:

And used the following tools:

While I generally enjoy crafting with the Simon Says Stamp kits, my favorite part of this kit (and all the kits so far) were the Daniel Smith watercolors. They were an absolute dream to work with and I have added some more of the dot sheets (like the one linked above) to my shopping list. While there were only 4 colors included on the dot sheet, I was able to paint an entire sheet of stamped images and get a good number of color variations by mixing tiny bits of those little dots.

Coffee? Tea? Or Maybe Something Stronger…

In The Studio

This weekend I spent a little over two hours creating a batch of cards. Not for a deadline or project or because I needed to send one out the next day, just because.

Because I had a cute kit (Simon Says Stamp, February 2017) that I hadn’t used yet. And because Donut Day (last Friday) reminded me I had it. And sometimes it feels good to craft for no other reason than to do it.

Of course, since I’m me and I’d decided to go ahead and use the kit anyway, I figured I’d go ahead and film it and see what came of it.

The what being a 20 minute video of me rambling a bit, but it’s done and uploaded and I think it’s pretty cool. Again, it was nice to have the time and space to put the cards together and then, by some stroke of magic, get it edited, voiced-over (voice-overed?), and exported all in the same day.

The last video I tried to export, that being the CSI Scrap With Me, took 2 days, multiple restarts, a graphics driver upgrade, and a software upgrade, and a few more hoops just to get the blasted thing to export, much less anything else. This time, however, things went more smoothly and I have to say, major kudos to Premiere Pro for updating it’s title tool (finally!).

Last week (and the week before) was a bad tech week for me, in general. Work computers were wonky, my home laptop was threatening to fail (I was seriously thinking about replacing it during the holiday sales weekend), and then I was extra clumsy Wednesday morning and dropped my phone. Twice.

Apparently it’s better to drop a cellphone where it bounces of a corner instead of landing flat (face up or face down doesn’t matter, and it’s not like we choose to drop our expensive handheld devices one way or another, of course). Because when you drop it flat, the chances of some very important pieces detaching increases astronomically.

First the screen took on this sickly greenish tinge. Then I noticed the touch-screen (which is 99% of the function of a smartphone) wasn’t responding. I figured I was doomed no matter what, so I smacked the phone against my palm and the color corrected. Yay! But the touch screen still wasn’t responding.

Or, I should say, it wasn’t responding how I needed it to. It was doing it’s little zzzt! vibration, like it was registering a command (I have my phone on silent and work and, since I get so few calls anyway, tend to forget and leave it that way at home for days–ahem, weeks–at a time) but it wasn’t getting past the lock screen.

So I did the logical thing: I took out the battery to do a hard reset. After a few moments I gave the phone back it’s battery and then nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I can vividly remember a time before cell phones and it wasn’t even all that bad. Even a time before smart phones. Again, not that bad. But my word, driving to work without a cell phone? That sucked. I couldn’t listen to my podcasts or music (thank goodness for some CDs I had in my car, saving me from drive-time djs). I couldn’t search for the nearest Verizon store. And I couldn’t see if maybe Costco might have better prices on phones. It was pretty horrible, she says from her perch of technological privilege.

It was, however, perhaps the quickest I’ve ever been in and out of a Verizon store: 30 minutes for a new phone and various accessories. Of course I was a year early for an upgrade, but Todd’s contract was up in about 4 months so I was able to buy out the rest of his and then sub in a new phone without drastically changing our bill. And based on my rash of bad phone luck, I did not leave without a case and a screen protector (which I had the sales rep install for me, just in case) and within two days I’d purchased a pop-socket, because the new phone is larger than my old one, and having something slightly more secure to hold onto makes incredible sense.

That’s what I’ve been up to, more or less. What about you?

Well, If Simon SAYS So…

Tuesday Revews-Day

At the risk of conspicuous consumption, I figured I’d close this week with a few highlights from the third crafty subscription box I’ve been geeting: the Simon Say Stamp monthly card kit.


I posted back in December about the cards I made from the November kit. (8 Cards from 1 Kit) Not only did I fail to make a set of cards from the December kit, I also ordered their separate deluxe card kit and did absolutely nothing with it, either! (Oh, except for some minor squee-ing over the cuteness of everything in each box.)

December Card Kit

December Card Kit

It’s not like the items in the kits will go unused. If nothing else the Christmas kits will give me a head start on next year’s cards. Plus, look at that little reindeer–that could totally work for spring or fall cards, and anything can be put into the banner.

The additional deluxe card kit. Impulse buy much?

The additional deluxe card kit. Impulse buy much?

Same with the bells and presents from the second kit–could certainly work for birthdays, weddings, and other celebrations throughout the year.

January 2017 Kit

January 2017 Kit

February 2017 Kit

February 2017 Kit

The February kit was a return to the cute and useful no matter what style–those coffee and tea stamps are adorable and I had to have them, even though I’d told myself I really shouldn’t order it. Should, schmould. I adore it. And whether those stickers (“shape sprinkles”) end up on cards or in my planner remains to be seen.

In an effort towards fiscal responsibility (bah, adulthood!) I may have to skip the next few kits until I can a) use the ones I have and b) therefore justify the line in my budget better. Still, for the cost ($24.95) you get a lot of stuff–at least 8 cards worth–plus a set of stamps you can reuse as many times as you want and, frequently, other tools (ink pads, embellishments, and sometimes dies that live just as long–it’s a great way to build your stash if you’re just starting out.

Once again, this has not been a sponsored post at all. I’m just a happy camper who loves seeing Simon show up on my front porch each month 🙂

Have you subscribed to anything crafty lately?