I spent the day today at our college Alma mater, giving practice interviews to the graduating seniors in the business department.  I really enjoy the process, and hope that it helps the students prepare properly for their real interviews.  This was the last interviewing day for this school year, and I have to be honest, I’m always relieved when they are done.  I’m exhausted from doing them, and I don’t have enough energy to go into my craft room after I’m finished.

I hope that tomorrow I’ll have rebounded enough to be able to make a couple of cards.  I have some fun fold ideas that I would like to try, so will probably be making them first.  I make a lot of thinking of you and hello cards, but need to make some for specific occasions, and that’s my goal for the next few cards I’m making.  One of my viewers lost her son unexpectedly in November, and I just heard about it, so definitely want to send her a card.  I also need to make a run to the post office, as I have three or four cards to send, and one needs to go to England, so I’ve been putting off mailing it…I need to stop with procrastinating, that’s for sure.  Tomorrow is definitely a mail day…I’m not going to delay any longer.  It’s like doing my income tax.  I put that off for as long as I can.  I don’t even do them, I just collect the information for them…You’d think with as little as I need to do, that I wouldn’t put it off so much, but I just dread doing them…It’s the reason I didn’t use my accounting degree to become an accountant.  I did an internship during tax season and realized it just wasn’t for me, and almost forty years later, I’m still trying to avoid them…



Thanks for the input I got from my question about how to handle the use of Aliexpress products on YouTube.  I’m so lucky to have so many really wonderful people that follow me here and on YouTube.  I consider myself truly blessed to have people that are so supportive, that care enough to help me with issues and are committed to my channel’s success.

I’ve read the comments on other YouTube channels, and wonder how the video makers can continue making videos after seeing the many negative comments they receive.  That was the one thing that I was really worried about at the beginning of my channel.  Luckily, I very rarely get a negative comment, and when I do, I’m OK with it, because I understand that some people just don’t understand my hands, and for the most part, these comments come from teenagers.  I always respond, and explain why my hands look the way they do, and try to educate them about leaving hurtful comments in the hopes that maybe they will learn something from me about respect, and how their comments can hurt.  It’s probably not going to change the way they think, but I live in hope.





Oxide Inks and Layered Dies, Plus Two Tips

A viewer wanted to see me use oxide inks, and as much as I like playing with them, I still don’t feel comfortable using the oxidation, or I don’t get results that I really like when I try it.
The first tip I gave was from Tim Holtz. He recommends that you use hand sanitizer to clean acrylic blocks, your MISTI, or to take ink off of stamps. I do like the way it cleans the MISTI and my hands, so definitely think it was worth sharing.
The second tip was when using an acrylic block that has no lines on it and how to help you line sentiments so they are straight. You can use a black Sharpie and a t-ruler that will allow you to draw a straight line..On a clean acrylic block, draw a couple of vertical and horizontal lines near the center of the block…Then when you use it, put your stamp on the reverse side of the block from your lines, so you won’t wipe your lines off when you clean the block.
To make the card, I used a couple of layered dies from Aliexpress.
I used foam marshmallows that I had bought at a stamp show a couple of years ago in the plastic box I show them in. The booth was from Gary Burlin & Co. from Cleveland. I went to their website but couldn’t find a product listing. I found something similar at Joann.com for $3.49 and here’s a link to them. http://tinyurl.com/y94t3pnq   I used a different color ink with each marshmallow.

I used cream colored Recollections heavy weight card stock and cut the two pieces of paper to 4 x 5 1/4″ and colored them with Distress Oxides in Fossilized Amber, Twisted Citron, Peacock Feathers and Faded Jeans and used the same colors on both pieces.
I made a second card with Fossilized Amber, Spiced Marmalade, Candied Apple and Fired Brick and rubbed the ink pads directly on the card stock. I used a piece of scrap paper when going from yellow to orange ink so that I didn’t contaminate the orange ink pad. I put the scrap paper over the yellow ink then ran the orange ink over the card stock and tried to keep it off the scrap paper. I heat set the inks, then went to the candy apple color and then finally fired brick.
I used some Dollar Tree washi tape to tape the colored image to the back of my dies so they would not move.
I used a pokey tool from Tim Holtz to remove the insides of the die cut.
I wanted my card base to be Twisted Citron colored, so I cut the cream colored card base to 11″ x 4 1/4″ and scored the 11″ side at 5 1/2″ to make a top fold card. I used two pieces of scrap paper, putting one inside the folded card and one under it, and then rubbed the ink pad over the front of the card base to make it Twisted Citron colored.
I used Fossilized Amber ink on a white scrap of card stock and cut out a bunch of Smile die cuts from it. I cut four yellow and two plain white, then ran them through my Xyron to make them sticky.
I finished the red card by turning one of my die cuts with the yellow side toward the bottom and the other with the yellow toward the top, and put an orange banner across it with three layers of Smile on it. I stamped the back of the card with my “Made for you by Sandy Parker” stamp.
To make the blue/green card, I used the base of Twisted Citron, and then glued the two different die cuts on top of each other onto the card. I took the Smile sentiment and once they came out of the Xyron machine, I removed them from their backing and laid them on a light yellow piece of scrap card stock. I used an eraser to try to remove the extra adhesive left from the Xyron, but had better luck with using scissors and scratching between the letters once it is laid on the card stock. I laid three layers of the “smile” on the yellow card stock, then cut it out with my Fiskars guillotine trimmer.
I used Tombow mono adhesive to glue the yellow piece to the front of the card after I snipped a “v” on the end to make it look more like a flag. I used the same adhesive to glue the die cuts to the front of the card. I had bought some small nail embellishments at the Dollar Tree from Sassy & Chic that were flowers, and glued them around the “Smile”. I used a sentiment from Stampin’ Up’s set called Love & Affection for the inside of both cards.
I used some green shiny washi tape for the envelope and also for the top and bottom of the Smile on the front of the card.


I offered to make a card for a friend and she said she’d really like to see me use Distress Oxides, so I used some layered background dies on a card with Distress Oxide inks.  I made two cards and thought they turned out kind of cute. Rich is editing the video as we speak.  Of course as soon as I went online after finishing my cards, I found that Jennifer McGuire had made a video featuring background dies.  When that happens, I always think that people believe I was basically copying what she had done.  Mine looks nothing like the techniques she used, but still, I always feel that way.

I’d like to make another fun fold card, but haven’t seen any lately that really speak to me.  If any of you have a fun fold idea you’d like to see me make, please let me know.  I really enjoy making them and love a challenge.  While I’m asking for advice, here’s something that I’ve been trying to decide what to do.  Since YouTube and a lot of crafters that have YouTube channels don’t like Aliexpress, what should I say when I’m using a stamp or die from there?  I can’t really mention Aliexpress because so many craft companies are targeting channels that use Aliexpress products, and I’m afraid my channel will be taken down.  I’ve put almost two years of my life into this channel, and I don’t want to fight to have it reinstated.  On the other hand, Aliexpress has so many affordable products, I would like to use the ones I own in videos.  Maybe I shouldn’t use them at all, but I know a lot of my subscribers are on fixed/limited incomes, and I like to be able to show them tools that are more affordable for them to use.  If you have an idea, I’d love to hear it.


I spent the day today at the college Rich and I attended, interviewing graduating seniors.  I’ve probably talked about this before, but I volunteer to make sure that the seniors that graduate from our college are prepared for interviewing.  It’s made a huge difference in the numbers of seniors who leave with their “real job” already in hand.  I enjoy the process and it keeps me current on what employers are looking for in the interview process and what I need to do to prepare the students.

It is a long day though, and completely exhausting.  I will go back on Thursday to finish for this school year.  As much as I like doing it, I’m always relieved when I’m done for the year.  I guess I always say the same thing when I’m done, and that is, “I have no idea how I worked as many hours as I did.”  Seriously, I have no idea how I kept the work pace that I did.  I’ve got a couple more emails from students (with resumes I need to look over) and then I’m off to bed.  No more 8-10 hour work days for me, I’m lucky if I can do six…  It’s not easy getting old.


Time has slipped away from me again.  If you asked me when was the last time I blogged, I’d tell you I probably missed one day, not three.  I’m sorry that I haven’t been on top of this, but then again, I haven’t been in my craft room either.  I’ve really been obsessed with Ancestry.com and working on my family tree.  I had made the tree several years ago, and had a lot of dead ends.  But since then, so many new people have joined, and really put the work into 1500-1700’s, which is where my dead ends occurred.  I’ve got one branch of my tree to go all the way back to the 600’s AD in Norway, and probably could have gone a lot further with it, but I was more interested in where the other legs of my tree would take me.  I anticipated a lot of England, and that’s what I’ve been finding.   It’s fun when you find things like a family member who went to Oxford in the 1500’s.  That’s pretty cool.  I also found some family members from my DNA chain..They said I was second cousins with these people, so I sent them an email (if they didn’t have a family tree, and gave them my parents and grandparents’ names, to determine how I’m related to them.  Two of these women have gotten back to me and one talked about my grandmother and how much she loved watching her cook, and that this lady still makes turkey like my grandmother did.  She would put the turkey in a brown paper bag.  And that’s all I remember about it, the brown paper bag.  I think I’ll be asking her to give me the specifics on how grandma made the turkey, as I was too young to remember when she stopped cooking for the family.

I think I’m really interested in my family tree because the family I grew up with was very small.  My father had one sister and my mother was an only child.  So I have a grand total of three cousins, and my sister and her family, that are still alive.  It’s not a very large group, that’s for sure.  Once you look at your family tree, and realize how big it gets and how far around the world it spreads, it can get to be addictive.

I guess I’m amazed at the accuracy of the DNA results, and how they found my second and third cousins and beyond.  I wasn’t really interested in 4th – 6th cousins, as they wouldn’t have anything in common with me, since there’s no way they would remember my grandmothers or grandfathers.  I wanted to interact with people who could tell me stories that I’d never heard about my family.  Maybe I’m being too shortsighted, but I am more interested in the stories than in the connection.

As for my craft room, I promise that I’ll head there and make some cards this afternoon.  I think I need to let my family tree go for a few hours and head back to the craft room.  After all, the family tree will still be there tomorrow.

Finger Painting, An Idea ? for Shaking Hands

I’ve been talking to some of my viewers whose hands shake, and I’ve been trying to come up with ideas to possibly help them continue to make cards. Some of the ideas I’ve come up with have not worked well, so I’m hoping this could be an option for them.
I started with a big beautiful background stamp from Rubbernecker called Daisy (here’s the link) http://www.rubbernecker.com/product-p/699.htm and the sentiment came from a Stampin’ Up set called Painted Petals. I used a peg stamp from Rubber Stamp Tapestry called small Chamomile (here’s the link to it https://pegstamps.com/chamomile-flower-small.html
I used Ken Oliver’s Liquid Metals in Yellow Gold, Metallic Amethyst and Mandarin. You can find them at DickBlick.com for a set of six $17.69.
The first step is putting a donut of washi tape under your card front and attach it to your table, a cutting matt, or in my case, a plastic cutting board I bought at the Dollar Tree. The cutting board allowed me to move the image around when I needed to turn it to color in a different area. I stamped the daisy background with Versafine Onyx Black ink and used Ranger clear embossing powder to cover the design and then heat set it. The embossing is a great way to contain your ink.  I used cream colored Recollections heavyweight card staock and cut it to 4 x 5 1/4″.  My card base is the same card stock and it’s cut to 8 1/2 x 5 1/2″ and scored in the center of the 8 1/2″ width at 4 1/4″ to make an A2 size card that is 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″..
You can take a small piece of clear plastic (2 x 3″) and put some ink or watercolor on it and smoosh this on your image. The embossing powder, once heated, will help the ink stay where you put it and won’t allow it to seep outside the embossed lines. Instead, I found it was easier to use my finger and paint with it instead. I simply put a drop or two of the Liquid Metals onto a piece of plastic and dab my finger into it, then dab my finger onto the card. I used an alcohol marker to draw the green stems and leaves and a brown one to color in the centers of the flowers on the card and the envelope.  With the black ink and the embossing powder, you really don’t need to color the leaves and stems, as they look fine with the black ink, so if you do shake, you won’t need to do this step.

After the card front was dry, I used a corner rounder and rounded all of the corners of both the card front and card base.  I attached a piece of fun foam beneath it with an ATG and Tombow Mono wet glue and adhered it to the card base.

I took a 1″ wide clear gold ribbon and attached it to the center of my card, then used glue dots to make sure the center of the ribbon laid flat on the card.  I had die cut the sentiment for the front of the card, and used the chamomile stamp on it and colored it with paint brushes and the same Ken Oliver Liquid Metal in Yellow Gold to color the chamomiles used the same gold metallic to color the envelope flowers.  I put the sentiment on foam squares and laid it on the ribbon.