Yesterday, Rich and I spent the day at the beach.  Not in direct sunlight….under an umbrella…I’m the color of a vampire, and with the medications I take for my arthritis, sunlight and Sandy don’t mix.    As soon as we got to the beach, a woman approached us to do a back massage with fresh aloe vera leaves.  Rich has been complaining of his back and neck bothering him, so before he could say no, I told the lady we’d be thrilled to have her give him a massage.  She did a great job, and he said his neck and head stopped hurting when she was finished, so that’s a good thing.

We took a picnic lunch to the beach, so we didn’t have to leave when we were hungry.  I like to grocery shop as soon as we get to the island so we have foods and drinks we like in our room.  We bought a dozen eggs, and hadn’t used any yet, so after a long hard day of reading on the beach, we decided to eat in our condo and have breakfast for dinner.  We had bacon and eggs and some pastries…..so you can’t beat that.  After dinner I decided to work on a diamond painting front to a journal I bought on ebay.  It’s supposed to look like this when it’s done.  I really like how it looks so far and I haven’t really spent more than an hour on it.  I think another hour and it’ll be finished.  I think it’s lovely and might give it as a gift or maybe use it for my next travel journal.  Anyway,  here’s the link to it on ebay…it was a little under $5 and you get everything you need to complete it.  https://tinyurl.com/w5znr8t   If you’ve ever wanted to try diamond painting, this is a fun way to give it a try.  I find crafty things that are useful are more in keeping with my style, and things like the wall art don’t really speak to me like this did.

Today, we slept in, and then went shopping in Phillipsburg.  There’s a restaurant there that we like to have lunch at, called Pasanggrahan Boutique Hotel, where they have an amazing Jamaican style fish and chips.  After lunch, we wandered around and found a couple of fun new t-shirts for Rich….he lives in Life is Good clothing, and it’s about time some of those shirts were destroyed, so I’m encouraging him to replace them with something new and different.
It wasn’t particularly hot, but for some reason I was sweating profusely the entire time we walked around.  It was gross…Rich said I looked like my head was going to explode, my face was so red.  (I know it’s a pretty image, and add to that the rivulets of sweat running down the sides of my face and neck, I made for a lovely image.  Stores here hire people to try and convince you to come inside and look around.  One man was singing “Pretty Woman” to me and I told him it would have been more fitting if he was singing “Sweaty Woman” instead.  He thought that was hysterical…..I was just telling the truth.

We stopped at the grocery store on our way back to the condo because I wanted to have brie with sliced almonds and butter (melted in a frying pan.)  You microwave the brie after slicing an “X” in the top, and then when it’s soft, you take the fried almonds in butter and pour it over the cheese.  Then you take a baguette, slice it about 1/2″ thick and use the slices of bread like a dipping spoon, into the cheese, butter and almonds.  I’m pretty sure it’s good for you..and has very few calories.  Actually, I made a fruit salad out of watermelon and bananas so we had something to cut the grease we were eating.  It worked well, and made me feel like we were eating at least one thing that was good for us.

Since St. Maarten is half French, there are a lot of French bakeries around.  If you’ve ever had their pastries, you’d know why we spend every other day, making a trip to the bakery.  Such wonderful confections, and we’re both suckers for sweets, so it’s the perfect place for us to visit.   I love almond croissants…LOVE them….can’t eat enough of them..and they’ve been sold out the three times I’ve been there, so today, I order three to pick up tomorrow…I’ll put the extras in the refrigerator, and I know they won’t be as good as the fresh one, but at least I’ll have some backups for later in the week.

Today, at home, the well drillers came to fix our water problem. We have terrible water in our neighborhood….So much rust in the water, that it clogs the pipes, the hot water tank and the systems we bought to remove the rust.  The truck’s been there since before we left home and I knew that today would be a horrible day for the dog’s and their anxiety….I have a very very good friend who has always been there for us, and today, she spent the entire day in our basement with our dogs, entertaining them (after she gave them the anxiety medications we had prescribed for Honey.)  She said they took turns laying on her, and with each dog at least 65 pounds, they aren’t exactly comfortable to have on your lap.  She would have liked to have taken them to her house, but both dogs are afraid to ride in a car, so that would have made things even harder than they were already.  We got an email from the well repairman, and he said that they had to drill our well deeper, and our water still isn’t usable because it’s got to clear the rust from it….that could take a day, I guess…..so he’ll be back tomorrow and hopefully, the water problem will be behind us, until we have another issue with it in the next few years.  It’s one of those ongoing problems that springs up when you least expect it…I’m just sad that we weren’t home to be with the dogs and that my friend had to be there in our place.  I felt terrible bringing it up to her, and of course, she immediately volunteered….that’s just the kind of great person she is.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a rainy day, but that could mean a passing rain shower or off an on rain…..we’ll figure it out as the day progresses.  They’ll be cleaning the condo, so we’ll have to make ourselves scarce.  As long as I have a book to read, I’m good anywhere.  I’ve already read two books this trip…..Having a great time on vacation!!

Fun w/ Distress Oxide Inks, Using My Stash To Make a Card

I wanted to make a fun congratulations card for a professor of Rich’s and mine from college.  I wanted to use supplies from my stash, and think the card is really fun and frisky.

I started by using a Hero Arts stamp set called “Congrats” in my MISTI on 5 x 7″ card base from Recollections heavyweight card stock from Michaels. I stamped Versafine Onyx Black ink several times to ensure a very black image and then used clear embossing powder and heat set it. I divided the front of my card into thirds and used Picked Raspberry Distress Oxide ink on the top third, then Broken China in the center, and Wilted Violet on the bottom section. I have corresponding felt ribbons colors to adhere over the inks that I bought at Hallmark after Christmas on clearance..

To ink the card, I put scrap paper inside the card but sticking out on the edges and another piece of scrap paper under the card sticking out the left edge, so I don’t get ink on the inside of the card base or on the back of the card base.  I taped a paper to block the parts of the card I don’t want to get ink on, and then ran the ink pad directly over the area I want to be that color. Then I took a brush I bought on Aliexpress and blended the ink into the surface. link: https://tinyurl.com/s9u2fl5 I moved the paper with each color change, to ensure the colors didn’t blur into the areas where I didn’t want them to be. Once you color the top section where the words have been embossed, you’ll want to take a damp cloth and wipe the letters so they are dark and shiny again. After coloring the front of the card, glue the felt ribbon about 1/2″ above the color change. I bought my ribbon after Christmas at a Hallmark store on clearance, but didn’t know where else to find it, and checked Aliexpress and found this…link: https://tinyurl.com/ugzeejv I decided the front of my card needed something else, so used glittery brads that matched the colors on the front, and strategically placed them on the front of the card. I decided I needed to cover the backs of the brads, so took a piece of the same cardstock that was 4 7/8″ wide by 7″ tall and glued it to the left inside of the card. I stamped more sentiments from the same stamp set inside the card. I took two different sparkly washi tapes and glued them to my envelope to make the envelope and card match.

Peg Stamp Valentine Shaker Collaboration w/ Peg Stamps, Rebecca Walton

Below you’ll find complete instructions and products used in this video. Please go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWhlN… to see Rebecca Walton’s version of a Valentine’s shaker card using the same stamp sets.

Peg stamp sets used:

Heart Dust (still available) Link: https://tinyurl.com/sk4nff5

Full of hearts stamp (hearts within a heart) link: https://pegstamps.com/product/full-of… Double heart stamp link: https://pegstamps.com/product/double-…

Saponaria stamp link: https://pegstamps.com/product/saponar…

Follow Your Heart Set link: https://pegstamps.com/product/follow-…

To My Valentine Set link: https://pegstamps.com/product/to-my-v…

Cardstock used:

Stampin’ Up retired cardstocks Pink 8 1/4″ tall by 11″ wide score at 4 1/4″ and 4 1/2″ on the 11″ length Red 8 1/2″ tall by 11″ wide scored at 4 1/2″ on the 11″ length

Inks used:

Gina K Red Velvet

Gina K Bubblegum Pink

Stampin’ Up Berry Burst

Colorbox Rich Razzleberry

Using a layered set of heart dies, choose one that fits well inside the borders of the pink card front so you have plenty of room for foam tape. Place it on the pink card front so you have room for your sentiment and room on either side of the heart for your frame. Tape it in place and run it through your die cutting machine. When you are stamping background paper, start with your largest images and work to your smallest.

In order, I stamped: Full of hearts stamp (hearts within a heart) with Red Velvet ink from Gina K Saponaria stamped with Stampin’ Up Berry Burst Double Hearts stamped with Gina K Bubblegum Pink Heart Dust stamped with Color Box Rich Razzleberry After stamping the first large stamps, I put clear embossing powder on them, and heat set them. After each additional stamping, I heat embossed with more clear embossing powder.

Put tear tape or glue on the back of the heart cut out and around the edges of the pink front, and place a piece of acetate (clear plastic) on the tear tape to glue it in place. Make sure your acetate covers the opening completely, or you’ll have shaker pieces come out. I opened the red card base and glued the back flap of the pink card base to the inside left side of the red card base. The pink part with the heart should close over the red layer when finished. I put a lot of foam tape along the edges of the heart and on the edges of the card….make sure the foam has enough height that your shaker components will shake, and also so that the foam has no gaps in it. I put my shaker components on the red left side of the card base so all I have to do is close the pink heart side on top of it. Make sure your shaker pieces are in the center of the red layer and if you want, glue some down so they will always be showing in the window.

Shaker Components:

Red Table Scatter hearts from Hobby Lobby

Clear Enamel Hearts: https://tinyurl.com/u6b2szf

Diamonds for my Nephew’s Wedding in a Variety of Colors: https://tinyurl.com/szd76nf

I also had some enamel colored dots in my stash that I added that glued to the background and I don’t remember where I bought them, sorry.

Once all of the shaker components are inside your card, you should make sure that you rub your embossing pouch around the inside of the foam tape so it reduces it’s stickiness…If you end up getting any glue on your acetate, use an alcohol pad to wipe it and then use a damp rag to wipe off the remaining alcohol/glue residue that remains. Shut the card carefully so the shaker components don’t shift around. I then made a frame to cover the fact that you could see the foam tape inside the heart. I used one size larger than the opening and one size smaller than the opening dies and cut red cardstock with them. This will make a larger frame and cover the inside of the heart that you don’t want to see. I used my original frame and the heart I cut from the larger frame I made, and glued them inside the left side of the card. I used a Happy Valentine’s Day die and cut the red cardstock with it and ran it through my Xyron machine. Link: https://tinyurl.com/yynlccyv

To get rid of any excess adhesive, Xyron makes an adhesive eraser…Here’s a link to it: https://tinyurl.com/uwvu4ql I had a heart border die that I cut out and attached to the back right edge of the red card base. Inside the card, I added a sentiment from Rubbernecker Stamps from a set called Freehand Phrases stamped with Gina K’s Black Amalgam Ink. To finish the card, I added some black heart washi tape along the seam on the right side of the inside of the card, and on the envelope. I stamped the Made by Sandy Parker stamp on the back. I bought this stamp at Stampanda and it’s called a square address stamp named Molly. Use a coupon you can find online for a big discount 


Rich is watching the Super Bowl and since we’re in St Maarten, and I haven’t written in a few days, I thought I’d give you an update.

Our flight out of Pittsburgh was 7AM yesterday morning…that meant we had to be at the airport at 5AM….Our hotel wanted us to meet the van there at 4:30, so we got up around 3:45…why did we even attempt to sleep?  Of course we didn’t….we were too worried about not hearing the alarm, or the electricity going out (like it did on a previous trip when we had to get dressed and packed in complete darkness in a hotel room we’d only stayed in the previous night, and didn’t really know where things were..)

We flew Spirit Airlines and it’s a no frills airline, but one thing they do that I really like, is they charge you more to put luggage overhead than if you put it under the plane.  I hate it when someone gets on hauling three pieces of luggage and stuff it everywhere but under their own feet….Makes me crazy….and then when you have a tight connection, those people take forever to gather all of their luggage and get off, while you’re trying to get off with your single bag.  I do have to say, there still were a lot of people with a lot of carry on…and I’m not sure why you’d pay to do that, but they must have.

We got in early and got our car and made it to our  hotel in record time.  It was one of the best on-time trips we’ve ever taken…But then again, if you know us, we are cursed travellers, something always goes wrong…so we’ll just wait for the other shoe to fall…

We fell asleep early last night and didn’t wake up until almost noon…so we got a late start and went to the pool and spent the afternoon reading…best day in the sun….

I don’t plan on spending a lot of time blogging on vacation, but I did want readers to know we’d made it here and are having a great time.  And Rich is enjoying his Blink security cameras, as they send him 5 second videos of the dogs going outside to go to the restroom….he loves watching them run around in the snow…I just look at the snow, and am happy I’m not experiencing it right now…YAY!!

Scene Stepper Valentine Fun Fold Card

I found the scene stepper fun fold card on NOLA Creations YouTube…Here’s the link to her video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YX707j2ZmyA

I started by using watercolor pencils by Arteza (set of 40) pumpkin, carmine red, crimson, sunflower, and coral on a House Mouse stamp called Sweet Kiss. I used a waterbrush to liquify the colors, then cut the image out.

To score, use your cutting board instead of your score board, as it will make it a lot easier. Use a stylus or the back of a butter knife or knitting needle to score with.  I used Stampin’ Up green 8 1/2″ x 11″ cardstock and put it in the trimmer on the 11″ length to score. Score putting the paper at 1″ and score up to 1″ and then to the top of the paper from 7 1/2 to 8 1/2″. Do the same thing, moving the paper to 9″ on the right , score  to 1″ and from 7 1/2 to 8 1/2″ , leaving your paper where it is, score from 2″ to 6 1/2″. Move your cardstock to 6 5/8″ and score from 2″ to 6 1/2″. Move the paper to 5 1/2″ and score from 1″ to 7 1/2″. Move the paper to 4 1/2″ and score to 1″ and from 7 1/2″ to 8 1/2″.

Cutting: Turn paper to the 8 1/2″ length in the trimmer. Your score lines should be at the top of the paper trimmer..Putting your paper at the 1″ mark on your trimmer, cut from 1″ from the bottom to 1″ from the top of the paper. You’ll need to do the exact same cut 1″ from the right side of your paper, cutting 1″ from the bottom to 1″ from the top (you’ll see me do this later.) Move your paper to 2″ on the ruler on the bottom of your trimmer and cut from 2″ to 4 3/4″ Move paper to 6 1/2″ on the bottom ruler, and cut from 2″ to 4 3/4″. Turn to the 11″ length, and line it up at 4 3/4″ on the bottom of the trimmer, and cut from 2″ to 6 1/2″. Move to 9″ on the trimmer and cut from 2 to 6 1/2″… Fold your score marks and use your bone folder on the folds.

Cover papers: Try not to use patterned paper that has a direction, as it’s a lot harder to deal with than a pattern that has no direction.

Step: Designer paper 1 7/8″ tall x 4″ wide and backing colored cardstock (I used red) that is 2 1/8″ x 4 1/4″ Glue this down after you’ve glued a stand under it.. For the stand, cut a piece of scrap to 2″ long by 1″ wide and score on the 2″ length at 1″. Glue this piece to the center underneath of the step paper, then glue the step paper in place. Glue the House Mouse image to the front of the stand we created

Inner Side Pieces: Two of Designer 3 tall x 1/2″ wide x Red 3 1/4 ” x 3/4″

Outer Side Pieces: Two x Designer 4″ x 1/2″ wide x Red 4 1/4″ tall x 3/4″ wide

Section below the step: Designer 8″ x 1 1/2″ tall x Red 8 1/4″ long x 1 3/4″ tall, cut 1″ squares out of the top corners on both pieces.

Back piece: 8 1/4 x 5 1/4″ Designer paper only cut 1″ squares out of the top corners per my instructions.  Inside the card, you’ll glue this to the opposite side as the step. You’ll glue it over a slit you made, & you’ll need to use your Xacto knife to re-open the slit once this paper is glued in place.

Top piece for above the opening: (I said this in reverse in the video) designer 4 1/4″ long by 1/4″ tall and red piece 4 1/2″ long by 1/2″ tall

White back piece to write on: 8 1/4″ long by 3 3/4″ tall with 1″ squares cut out of the top corners.  I stamped a Happy Valentine’s Day stamp from peg stamps with Gina K Red Velvet ink for on this paper along with red table scatter hearts I got at Hobby Lobby after Valentines last year. I cut a very thin strip of red cardstock and cut it thicker at the bottom and thinner near the top and glued the thicker part on the front and adhered it to the back where the bird head and mouse head meet. I glued one of the hearts to the top of the red strip so it looks suspended over the animals. I glued more of the scatter hearts around the card face.

I stamped a bird on the front near the base of the card with Soft Suede ink from Stampin’ Up, and stamped a bird and nest on scrap then cut them out, cutting off the birds’ feet. Then glue the bird to the image on the card so it has feet again. I used a “You are Special” sentiment on a white scrap and used a matching green marker to color the edges, then die cut it wih an oval Spellbinder die. I used peg stamps from the Robin’s Nest and Secret Garden sets and colored the nest and bird with colored pencils.



I can honestly say I’ve been working like a little beaver on cards.  In the last few days, I’ve made a fun fold that’s kind of confusing, but turned out great, a cute shaker card using the Valentine’s Days sets from pegstamps.com, and one that I made up as I went along. They all turned out really cute, and I have a few more that I’d like to make before leaving on vacation.

Speaking of vacation..they’re never fun if you fret about your animals, and we have found a woman in her mid-twenties that the dogs really like…She stays with them the whole week, so they are never alone and Rich bought me Blink cameras for Christmas…one for inside the house when we travel, so we can look in on the dogs…we will make sure to tell our housesitter that it’s there, so she doesn’t think we’re spying on her, as that would be a little weird (to me.)

Back to crafty things…I’m also working on some more covered note pad videos..I love making them, because they’re useful and fun to make.  A win, win…

On a side note, I seriously need to clean my craft room.  It looks like crafts exploded in there.  But once I’m in the room, I see something, and think, I should make a video on that craft, and the cleaning…

I came up with an idea of what to do next in my art journal.  I bought a big Prima stamp of a woman’s head with long flowing hair in a halo around her head…I thought maybe I could use different colors of embroidery floss in small circles to create ringlets..Maybe dip the floss in Mod Podge and then put it onto the image…We’ll see how this goes, but it sounded like a good idea…We never know until we try….

Newly Released Spring Peg Stamps Haul

The stamps included in this video are pegstamps.com spring release.

I want to thank Rebecca Walton, owner of pegstamps.com, for sending me all of these wonderful stamps. I really enjoy using them and think they are terrific additions to any stamper’s collection. I love using these stamps because they are made to be easy to hold, and are particularly great for people with hand/wrist issues like myself.

As a reminder, you can always purchase individual stamps from the sets they sell, instead of buying the entire set, if you’d prefer.

Valentine Sets:

To My Valentine link: https://pegstamps.com/product/to-my-valentine-2/

Follow Your Heart link: https://pegstamps.com/product/follow-your-heart/

St Patrick’s Day Sets:

Luck of the Irish link: https://pegstamps.com/product/luck-of-the-irish/

Shamrock and Clover link: https://pegstamps.com/product/shamrock-and-clover/

Beer Garden link: https://pegstamps.com/product/beer-garden/

Spring Sets:

Go Fly a Kite: https://pegstamps.com/product/go-fly-a-kite/

Field of Tulips: https://pegstamps.com/product/field-of-tulips/

Hummingbird Patio Set: https://pegstamps.com/product/hummingbird-patio/

Cherry Tree in Bloom: https://pegstamps.com/product/cherry-tree-in-bloom/

Easter Set:

Easter Blessings link: https://pegstamps.com/product/easter-blessings/

Individual Stamps:

Butterfly Artistic link: https://pegstamps.com/product/butterfly-artistic/

Butterfly Landing link: https://pegstamps.com/product/butterfly-landing/

Butterfly Mottled link: https://pegstamps.com/product/butterfly-mottled/

Star of David with Chai link: https://pegstamps.com/product/star-of-david-with-chai/

Rain link: https://pegstamps.com/product/rain/

Yarn Skein link: https://pegstamps.com/product/yarn-skein/

Knitting Needles link: https://pegstamps.com/product/knitting-needles/

Bicycle with Basket link: https://pegstamps.com/product/bicycle-with-basket/