Yep, it’s another holiday card class for this girl. I really love that K Werner and J McGuire take so much time and work to prepare such high-quality classes for crafters. I have taken many! This year I really did have a blast. (I have one more project to complete but, I finished the others. The final is on my desk.) It may take me a few days to finish the final assignment as I a preparing to teach a fun craft class at my church.
There were several assignments and here are my attempts. I have a few that I really like and some not as much. I did, however, try each technique taught and the ones that I don’t like, I am sure I can play with the technique a bit more and land on something I like. Without further delay, here they are.
I know you can still sign up for the class so I don’t want to reveal the content so I will just add the Class Title and the Project I completed.
Day One: Die Cutting. At first, I wanted to try the techniques with something, but it turned out to be not so Christmasy. Which is fine, it just shows that you can use the techniques all year round!
Day Two: Plaid. THIS class was so much fun. I really love the final card. I added a twist to mine, I used Easter colors on a holiday card, and loved it.
Day Three: Fast Backgrounds
This was an exciting one. I used a product that I really wanted to use. It was a struggle though. It’s proof that you must use the supplies to master them. I am pleased with the result and so happy I busted out a product I don’t use nearly enough.
Day Four: Ink Blend
Well, when my Simon Says Stamp Kit (First Night) came in, it was perfect timing. I was also trying to play with some color combos from my Color Cube and this fun happened.
Day Five: Using Scraps!
Yeah, we all have them. We all need ways to use them. Leave it to Jennifer McGuire to step up our scraps!
BONUS Day!! Using Leftovers!
Well, that worked out! I had this sitting in my garbage can, can you believe it? Yeah, this class saved this card’s life! Whew!
DAY SIX: Tiny Stamps… I have a lot of these. When the topic popped up in my inbox, I was very happy to watch the class AND use some of the techniques to create a fun little card.
DAY SEVEN: Embossing Folders – This is one that I will use again. Not my favorite final project from the class, but it is fun and I am excited to make more with the techniques taught.
DAY EIGHT: Foiling. It’s such a cool looking hot trend! (See what I did there haha) ANYWAY, this class kicked butt! Oh, with so so so many ideas and tips. The cost of this class is covered right here in this one day!
DAY NINE: Snowflakes – Well, here is the card that made me so happy I teared up a little. To say I had a rough day (few days) would be an understatement! Then I watched this class and had a moment of clarity. We need cardmaking. It is truly therapeutic. Card making (and this class) saves not only card lives (see Bonus day) but it saves our mental health. Also one of my favorite cardist (card making artist) taught this day.
DAY TEN: Interactive This is the final day of class. I have my project on my desk in progress. I just am so excited to get this done!!! I will post the final, but I wanted to be sure to get this post done before the class expires — the live version. It does continue live until the 18th. You can get in and join the fun and be in the running for the giveaways. After the 18th it will still be available, but the forum is closed. If you have a chance, DO sign up you can get 10 no 11 card ideas and techniques for 2022.
This year I am entering the contest. They have three categories my first is the coloring category. In the past, I’ve gone overboard trying to guess what they are looking for and add my own art. This year I made a fun little scene and I didn’t think about it. I didn’t draw a ship or add anything but the stamps I put them center stage. So here is my color entry
Next up was the Out of the box challenge! I love the out of the box challenges. They are so fun to put together. I got the idea for my HoHoHo Santa is coming to town card while sitting in my studio sorting stamp sets! Here is my entry for the out of the box category
Finally, CAS (clean and simple). I’ve had this idea since last year. I struggled with which to make for the contest and went with my other idea last year. This little baby has been waiting 360+/- days to be created. I sketched it out but waited to make it. Now that I have made it I wish I would have made it last year. Here is my CAS entry
Now, I’m not expecting to win anything, but you never know. I really do this contest for the fun of it. I love MFT Stamps (just look through my blog, you’ll see lots of their product is my literal favorite things.
I hope you get joy or inspiration from these cards. Enjoy your night!
After a few years, some of the products I purchased didn’t even see the light of day. I only would use my Christmas goodies a few months a year. What a total shame.
When I was talking to my BFF (Golda)about this, she mentioned that she had some of the same frustrations. She told me she would make Christmas cards throughout the year. I can’t remember if she set a number, but I decided if I made 10 a month that’s 120 Christmas cards, or even at 5 that is 60 over the year. This struck me as a good plan mostly because I wouldn’t need to stress the already stressful season. I usually have some to spare and pass on to charity which is another bonus. I found also that I really enjoy the longer time spent as I can think about the people I am sending cards too. It makes for a much better year.
Maybe this is something you can start doing! Think of all the fun you will have. Also, the guilt doesn’t hit as hard on buying the latest and greatest when you have already been using your stamps from previous years! You know that over the upcoming year you will use them!
TOP FIVE REASONS TO MAKE CHRISTMAS AND HOLIDAY-THEMED CARDS YEAR ROUND
I am not stressed about getting cards out
I get to address 5-10 envelopes a month for Christmas cards (if they move a quick label fixes it) and have no need to have a marathon addressing session (Bonus: I also sometimes have time to add cuteness to the envelope that will be going out.)
I get to use my product all year long
I get exposed to the other things in my Christmas themes to use on everyday projects. I find that a lot of my Christmas theme stamps and papers can go with everyday goodies to make a fantastic pairing.
It usually helps keep me in a holly jolly mood all year round
LONG POST but it is an important message. I made this card for my sister. Let me tell you why.
There are no names used in this account so please forgive all the non-specific identifiers and “my sister”repetitive use. I am trying to just share something that is all too prevalent in our current society that needs to be addressed and not point fingers or be what I am so upset about.
This is a hard one for me to write. I always thought, as someone that was bullied horribly in elementary school, that it was just a thing kids did. I moved to a different state at the end of elementary and didn’t have much of a bullying problem in my new school.
My sister is being bullied. The sad thing is, I guess it can go on even after school years. Let me paint a little picture for you.
My fantastic sister left a lucrative career to become a teacher. It was her passion. For 18 years she has given up a lifestyle that would have allowed her to live a MUCH easier life. Why? She loves kids and not just any kids but the middle-year kids. That’s right, those awkward, sometimes smelly, coming into hormones and dramatic middle schoolers. This is where some of the absolute most terrible bullying is reported. (Oh, the stories I could tell.) Even when she was a single mom with four of her own she gave all she could to her students. Many long nights of grading and planning outstanding lessons. She is the teacher always with an open door and stays to run the after-school care, to ensure kids are in a quality program, teaching summer school investing her own funds to give the kids the best opportunities for high school and beyond. You get the idea.
So imagine my heart, when I get a call and she is literally sobbing on the side of the road unable to drive because a mother in her class has begun attacking her. May I mention this “mother” is sure everything (including a B her child received on an assignment) is because my sister is a horrible teacher? In the following months, this woman took it upon herself to verbally attack my sister’s amazing reputation (did I mention my sister has been the teacher of the year. TWICE)? Did I also mention this person harrassed my sister via email and phone conversations demanding responses on the weekends and holidays all this leaving my sister in a mental and emotional crisis? Well, she has, and the worst part, she is a teacher, in my belief, a teacher that wants my sister’s job. See my sister teaches highly gifted students. A desirable position that requires many additional hours of training and certifications.
At the end of last year, my sister broke down on the phone and I felt her pain so deep in my chest, I cried with her. She had done everything right. Taken the steps to ensure the student was best cared for and yet this mother continued to drive her misery onto my sister. Relentless, harassment, threats, and ganging up with other educators to try and push her out. As the summer approached and the light at the end of the tunnel one might say, my sister, told me she may not be able to return to school because of the physical, mental and emotional toll from the last semester. Have you ever seen someone physically ill from being bullied? I have, it’s not pretty. It’s gut-wrenching!
This saddens me greatly. In our state, the teacher shortage is so severe, that you don’t even have to be a teacher to teach. As long as you are in college for education you can have a physical classroom and be teaching. My sister has served the children of her district for 18 years! Never one complaint or reprimand until this woman. This bully.
With her class in mind, my sister returned. She loves those kids. She wants nothing but success for them. She always goes the extra mile. I’ve witnessed all she has done through the years. When there was a lack of interest from parents to chaperone several field trips, she would beg me to go. I always would because she wanted the kids to see and live the experiences she was teaching in the classroom. She worked many days from 6 am (in class) to after 8 or 9 pm on campus only to return home and spend the rest of her night planning and grading papers.
Now, let’s move forward to this year, she has been attacked again. A student in her class proclaimed, “Ms. XXXXXX is my favorite teacher!” when called into the office due to an incident regarding my sister trying to show compassion and caring about the child’s feelings at what the child thought was bullying. Asking the young person what was said and trying to make sure she had the facts right my sister tried to explain that bullying is never okay, but we need to be sure it’s not miscommunication. She spoke with the child about the differences we all have in what we believe.
The child told her mother what had happened and the mother, another teacher in the same program as the previous child’s mother, went not to my sister for clarification, (because you know, middle school children NEVER get dramatic for attention) not to the principle, no she marched into the superintendent’s office and demanded my sister be fired. And began her campaign of terror.
Giving a lesson (district mandated I might add), on how to give a peer review. The other children told the child in question that Ms. XXXXX is talking about you in class. (Which she was not. It was a lesson on how to be kind in your words but still be able to give constructive criticism — I mean middle-schoolers are never overly dramatic — never.) My sister was again attacked. Meetings and complaints all require her to write responses and spend time on things that are not benefiting the child. HELLO, THIS. IS. NOT. GOOD. for anyone!
The call went like this, “Oh Erika, it’s starting again! Oh no, I don’t think I can handle it for another year.” the grief in her voice was so prevalent I felt my heart break. She was so sick to her stomach that she couldn’t go to work.
Here we are. She now has another year of writing responses being attacked and who protects her? Not the school administration. NOPE, they are worried about lawsuits and making the MOTHER happy. I have news for ALL of you, THIS IS BULLYING! To attack a person that is trying to give the children the best education possible to YOUR kids… it’s wrong! You are an adult. ACT LIKE ONE. Try talking to the teacher, or the adult involved you probably don’t have the full story if it came from a child POV! Not because your child is a liar, but because children are very self-centered and they don’t usually see the other side of the situation. You don’t have to “see the manager!”
It is okay to protect your kids. Just don’t be a bully! It’s okay to intervene if your child can’t get a problem resolved! You can be a good parent and still be FAIR!
I don’t know what is going to happen. My guess is she will keep being the punching bag for these people. I will keep getting calls from my amazing sister crying and hurt because she is in a position of service. I will need to keep trying to build up what these women tear down. I will see her do things for these kids that their parents don’t know or even appreciate. The administration will let her. Honestly, the administration is the parent of the bully which is a bit of a bully itself. The administration is cowardly! Stand up for your teachers! They are working twice as hard with such little pay that goes back to the school in the form of supplies and teaching materials. If you ever wanted to know why more teachers quit teaching in the first 3-5 years. Let me tell you, I know.
If you are a bully, to your kids, your spouse, your kid’s teachers, the employees you manage, the barista at Starbucks, or the clerk at the retail store, think about this… You may be feeling powerless, you are hiding in your anger. To feel better about yourself if you are hurting others. Please, seek a mental health professional for your anger issues. I don’t want you to have that hurt.
Am I angry? You bet I am. My sister is one of the best people I know! I am hopeful that if you are a bully you can see that you don’t have to bully. You can be a support to help find a solution without hurting others. If you have a child that is a bully. Help them it doesn’t go away bullies teach their kids to be bullies and to bully. We don’t need that we need love.
That my friends, is why I made this card for my sister.
Thank you for reading and allowing me to vent my broken heart.
When the stitched alphabet came out from Spellbinders I liked the idea, but I couldn’t really see buying ALL the letters. (I made a big mistake.) I bought a few to spell “Hi” and “love” well soon after these few cards I realized; I need the entire alphabet. I am so glad I did and would highly recommend if you are considering the stitched alphabet, just buy the bundle. It really opens your world to so many possibilities. (It is an investment, but really, I have used these so much that I think it was one of my better purchases for card making.)
Because I love these little guys so much, I put some tips for using these dies to be the most successful.
Tips for stitching on your paper crafts.
Choosing your thread (floss) will make a significant difference. My first craft was cross-stitching, and I can tell you a few things to make you successful.
The number of strands. Two is most commonly used, but if your floss is light on light you may want to add one or more strands to ensure your intended color shows as you want it. (In the sample above, I used all six strands
Floss comes in many brands and materials. You may want to test them on your paper before you commit.
A single sheet of card may tear when you stitch with several threads of floss. To ensure your card can hold up, simply cut two additional letters and glue them together to create stability.
Use your finger or fine tip applicator, (such as Barely Art glue tip) to apply glue to prevent seepage through the premade stitch placement holes.
remove any excess glue immediately
Make sure your glue is completely dry before stitching. (If you notice any glue at this time, use a needle to remove it.)
As a cross stitcher for many years, I learned one especially important thing. Always go in the same direction. Start each grouping in the same place.
Light is caught by the floss and keeping it in the same direction and same placement will give a better finished look.
Place your needle over the last stitch and press all other threads under the stitch you are adding.
If you have any questions, feel free to click over to the contact me and shoot me an email. You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook.
I have finally been able to get everything I need to set up my YouTube channel. I will be sure to let you know once we’ve gone live. Color-A-Longs are coming soon! I’m working hard to make this a place for inspiration and education. Please share with all the crafty peeps you know. 🙂