I woke up yesterday to seeing the bear had once again made an appearance in our back yard….and literally squeezed a solid metal bird feeder in half.  I need to find it in the trash so I can share the photo of it, as it’s amazing the damage one bear can do.  He also bent two shepherds hooks in half…We should have known he had come by for a visit, as Honey had a huge anxiety attack in the night and was shaking, standing basically on top of me in bed, and looking down the hallway.  I sent Rich to check out what was going on, and the only thing he didn’t do, was turn on the outside light.  I’m pretty sure if he had, he’d have come within feet of the bear.  Honey, on the other hand, never left my side, as she’s not the world’s best protection.  So another big bird feeder bites the dust.  I have one other large feeder that’s shaped like a gazebo…It has a bite out of the base of it from last year’s bear encounter.  I never know when he’s going to come out of hibernation, and he had a short sleep this year, as he was still awake and destroying my bird feeders in late November.  I think it has to do with when the weather remains cold, otherwise he gets confused, and doesn’t snuggle in for a long winter’s nap…

I have been in the craft room, and made the video on guillotine trimmers.  I’ve had viewers who struggle with paper trimming and I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of their issues revolve around not understanding how to read the ruler or the measurements on a paper trimmer.  I’m hoping my guillotine trimmer video will help crafters with that..

One of my closest girlfriend’s 60th birthday is today and I wanted to make a special card for her.   A week or so ago, HSN had a craft day and Crafter’s Companion had a great kit (I thought) with three of their new inks in varying shades of pink/fuchsia, a layered stamp set and matching dies for $29.99, (I think)…..I thought it was a good deal considering I was getting three full size ink pads, and a large set of stamps.  Maybe it was too good to be true.

I wanted to use the flower set to make my girlfriend’s card, and wanted to play with the inks a little before putting them on the card.  When I stamped them, they were spotchy, and we all know that normally, the splotchiness goes away when it dries….this did not happen to me.   Once dry, they were still splotchy.  I cleaned the stamps before using them with my homemade stamp cleanser, and when I used other brands of inks, had no issues.  In the end (after three solid attempts at making this card, and failing), I decided to use the lightest pink, so you could see just how poorly they performed, and knowing it would be covered by the other layers of colors from the second and third layered stamps.  As soon as I switched to another brands ink, I immediately noticed a difference, not only in the splotchiness, but also in the overall ease of use.

I was happy with my end result, but thought it was important that I shared this video, so others who might be on the fence about these inks, would know not to buy them.



How to Use a Guillotine Paper Trimmer

I bought a FISKARS 199130-1001 9 Bypass Paper Trimmer at Joanns and here’s the link: http://tinyurl.com/y4npmhuo

X-Acto guillotine trimmer link: http://tinyurl.com/y4pfrbq5

Cricut paper trimmer link: http://tinyurl.com/ycev5wbq  I always recommend that you price shop before buying any tools I mention, as I want you to get the lowest price possible when buying craft supplies

I don’t recommend guillotine paper trimmers for people with small children, as it’s really easy to cut yourself on them if you aren’t careful.

X-acto trimmer-–this is a large paper trimmer and it has a lock on the cutting bar, which is a nice feature. This trimmer cuts a lot of paper easily, but doesn’t cut one thin piece of copy paper.. I recommend this trimmer for when you want to cut a stack of papers, and only use it for this purpose.  You might be able to make fine cuts with yours, but mine doesn’t have a way to hold the paper down the length of the trimmer, so the bottom half of the paper might move.  The bar that you’d think would hold paper in place,  is more for keeping a stack of paper in place, as it doesn’t touch the surface of the trimmer.

The Fiskars trimmer works well for cutting smaller pieces of paper…If you use 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper, you can only put it in the trimmer on the 11″ length. If you want to cut your paper on the 8 1/2″ length, you can fold it in half first, and then cut it. If you want to make A2 size cards, you’ll fold the paper in half, then cut it at 4 1/4″ mark. Always make sure your paper buts against the top bar, and hold it in place with your left hand on the paper and the plastic bar, then pull the bar down with your right hand to cut it.
To cut a 1″ square, put your paper so it ends on the 1″ mark, and hold it in place, then cut. Turn the paper one turn, and line it up again at the 1″ mark, hold the paper, and cut it.
To cut a sentiment, lay the sentiment under the plastic bar lining it up so it’s straight under the plastic bar, then cut. Flip it so the sentiment is upside down and straight in the bar, then cut.
For uneven sentiments, lay the paper under the bar so the sentiment is straight (when looking through the clear plastic), then cut it. Flip it around so the sentiment is now facing the opposite direction, make sure it’s straight under the plastic bar, and cut it. If you have trouble holding onto the paper, put a piece of washi tape on it so you can hold it when you are positioning it.  Make sure to remove most of the stickiness of the washi tape by rubbing it on your skin or clothes before applying it to your cardstock.  This will ensure that it doesn’t tear the paper when you remove it.
To determine where to put paper in the trimmer, you’ll want to count the number of dashes between one inch and two inches. Mine has 1/8″ marks on top and 1/16th” marks below the black line. If you want to cut your paper at 2 3/8″, you’ll count three dashes past the two inch mark (toward the three inch mark) and line the left edge of the paper  there and cut it.
To cut 3 5/16, use the dashes below the black line and count five dashes past the three inch mark (toward the four inch mark) and put the left side of your paper on that line and cut.
I hope this video helped you to decide if you want a guillotine trimmer, or, if you have one, how to use it more effectively.

Gel Press, Peg Stamp, Bunny: A Collaboration w/ Rubber Stamp Tapestry

Rich and I saw this bird picture at a thrift store, so I photographed it and shared it with Rebecca Walton from Rubber Stamp Tapestry (the peg stamp company.)


If you get a chance, watch the videos that Clarity Stamps shares using their gelli plate. Here’s a link to their gelli plate videos.

I used Georgia Pacific 110 lb. white cardstock from Walmart for my bunny.

The bunny stencil came from Stencil Revolution, here’s the link:
https://tinyurl.com/yy6vb9g7 I bought the 5″ x 6″ size stencil.

The Gel Press I bought from Amazon and here’s the link to it:
https://tinyurl.com/y4nq43to   Mine is 6 x 6″.  Please note that when I give you links for products, it’s so you can see and get a feel for the product…If you want to purchase it, I recommend you price shop before doing so, as I want you to always be able to find the lowest price possible.

I bought a piece of plexi-glass that I bought from a local glass cutting company. Mine is    7 x 7″ x 3/8″ thick and I only paid $4 for it…I really recommend you buying yours from a local glass company if you can, as you’ll save a lot of money by doing so.

I started by putting my gelli plate onto the plexi-glass and adding a piece of copy paper cut to 6 x 6″ underneath the plexi glass so I know where I want to lay my paper on top so it lines up with it.

I used a brayer (link: https://tinyurl.com/y5t7eclp ) after dabbing Distress Ink in Shaded Lilac over the gelli plate, and rolled the ink so it covers the entire plate. I laid the stencil over it and lined up the bottom of the stencil with the bottom edge of the gelli plate..
I used a scrap of copy paper and dabbed it on the stencil to remove some of the purple ink then laid the cardstock cut to 6 x 6″ on the stencil. I rubbed all over the back of the cardstock, then rubbed my brayer on it to ensure the ink transferred well. Remove the cardstock, and the bunny is done. I removed the stencil and laid it on a piece of 5 x 6″ cardstock, wrapped a piece of copy paper around it and then ran it through my Vagabond die cutting machine. (Link: https://tinyurl.com/y3vqbbm9 )

To run it through the Vagabond, I used the normal base plate, then the clear plastic plate, then a foam piece (if you don’t have that piece, use fun foam), then my cardstock and stencil with a piece of copy paper wrapped around it on both sides, then the top clear plate to make the “sandwich” and ran it through the Vagabond. This not only transfers the ink, but also embosses the stencil onto the cardstock, so you can see the indentations of it. I’ll make a card with this technique in the near future as the lilac was too light for using on a card (in my opinion).

I used Arteza brush pens to color my peg stamps, link https://tinyurl.com/y6pb73r2

I used a variety of peg stamps and started with my larger images and worked to smaller.

Marker color     Stamp used         Link
Eggplant purple flower top https://tinyurl.com/y48o487q
Olive Green Lavender Sprig https://tinyurl.com/y2ufxah7
Shaded Lilac D.Ink 3 Ripply Flower https://tinyurl.com/yyz7ns9r
Wisteria Purple Sopanaria no longer available, but Delicate Flower Bunch is very similar https://tinyurl.com/y66g5bs9
Magenta Little Flower https://tinyurl.com/y4v6kq7j
Bubble Gum Pink Blinky Flower now called Accent Trio https://tinyurl.com/y4zhkqsx
Bubble Gum Pink Sm Poinsettia https://tinyurl.com/yxrfpp2j
Green Tea Lemon Sprig https://tinyurl.com/y4wcab75
Olive Green Pointy Holly Leaf https://tinyurl.com/y2ma3go4

I used a Darice embossing folder called “Stripes” and put two pieces of cardstock inside that were 5 x 7″ as the paper cracked when I only used one piece.

I cut the dark purple card base to 10 1/2″ wide by 7″ tall and scored it on the 10 1/2″ length at 5 1/4″, so my end card will be 5 1/4″ wide by 7″ tall.

I glued the striped embossed lighter purple paper onto the darker purple, and used the Shaded Lilac Distress Ink and pressed the ink pad over the stripes so they pop…..I glued the bunny to it with foam tape after stamping “wishing you a happy Easter” on to the front.

I bought foam tape from Aliexpress $1.05 for 15 mm wide and 10 meters…https://tinyurl.com/y68d3fs8   I found it held well and didn’t have too much stick like the roll I used to have that I hated..

I put a piece of white cardstock inside the card that was 4 1/2″ x 6″ tall and stamped the back of the card with “Made by Sandy Parker.”


FINALLY!!!  I made a couple of videos…I couldn’t sleep this AM, so got up with the dogs at 6AM and then just laid in bed, and finally decided that was just dumb, so got up and went to my craft room..I’ve been wanting to make the card that I’m doing a video collaboration with Rebecca Walton from Rubber Stamp Tapestry, and decided today was the day.  I’ve thought this card through for the last week, and would have been devastated if the end result wasn’t at all like I had planned.  It came out better than I’d hoped and can’t wait until Monday at noon, when both of our videos go live.

I figured while I was in the craft room, I’d do another video on guillotine paper trimmers.  I think they can be kind of tricky to use, and to measure on, so went through the whole process of how to do almost everything with it.  Obviously, not every crafter would be interested in finding out more about guillotines, but for those thinking of buying one, or ones who own them but don’t use them or don’t know how to use them, I thought it would be a good video for them….You never know.  I had a viewer ask me to do a video on how to trim paper, and that was the biggest hit..So many people said they had trouble cutting paper, and doing it so their paper wasn’t crooked, and it made me happy that I could help.  I kind of feel the same way about this video.  There will be some people who think it’s too elementary, but then I think most of my videos aren’t made for the advanced crafter, and I’m happy that beginners can learn, and maybe others, who are afraid to ask for help, will benefit too.

My girlfriend’s mom, who was 96, passed away, and her funeral is tonight, so I think I’m going to take a nap and hopefully, will be wide awake for it.  I’m not an early morning girl, so the fact that I got up so early today, is not my norm….A nap is definitely in order.


I still have the cold….yep, day ten, and I still sound terrible…Sadly, Rich also has the cold…it’s been a bad week.

My girlfriend’s mom, who was 96, and the lady I made the different door decorations for, passed away.  I couldn’t be with my girlfriend because of my germs, but she allowed me to handle the funeral luncheon.  I was so glad to have something to do to help.

Tomorrow, I’m hoping to be able to buy the rest of the things we’ll need for Saturday’s luncheon, and after that, I’m going to make a video.  I know I’ve said that in the past week, (probably more than once), but I’m serious about it now.  I even have a plan.  I know, it’s shocking, but true.

On a happy note, our nephew just got engaged.  We couldn’t be happier for him,and we’re looking forward to his and his new fiance’s future..  It’s so much fun to see new love, and to watch it blossom.

And one more project for tomorrow…I have to mail my sister her St Patrick’s Day card.  I made it on video at the beginning of my cold, but the card did not turn out the way I’d hoped, and the video was a nightmare, so I’ll mail it to her and call it a day.  Some cards and videos just turn out that way for me.


This cold is a bear…hanging on and on, and now Rich is getting sick, so I might just end up getting it a second time.  That happens with us sometimes…I’ll get sick, then Rich will hold off getting it until I’m almost better, then a few days later, I feel bad again.  It’s the curse of a low immune system….

Last night I started thinking in crafty terms again, which is good news.  I’ve been following some gelli plate videos from Clarity Stamps and they approach gelli printing like a card.  It’s not abstract blobs and weird objects that create unusual marks…it’s actual art.  And I love it.  I have to give it a try and I’m scared, because I don’t know if I have the skill set to pull it off.

In the meantime, I promised the photo I took of woody woodpecker.  Rich posted it with some of his photos on his facebook page, so I can copy and paste it here.

Image may contain: outdoor

He would be a lot clearer if I wasn’t taking the photo through a screen.  I loved how bright his head and eye are….If you saw how many photos I took, you’d laugh.  I laid Rich’s camera on a book beside me and just held down the button and it just kept snapping away…

Rebecca Walton, from Rubber Stamp Tapestry (the peg stamp company) and I will be doing a collaboration using a bird picture I found at a second hand store as our inspiration.  Here’s the picture of it.


We both loved that the bird is a bunch of tiny images put together to create it….and started thinking about how perfectly this concept would work with peg stamps.  We also found a stencil at StencilRevolution.com that we thought would be perfect for this project.  Rabbit StencilSo now you have an idea of what we are starting with, and hopefully this Friday, the 15th, both videos will go live.  I haven’t started mine yet, but my plan is to give it a whirl tomorrow….I thought this stencil would be perfect for the way we plan on putting our cards together…..and hope you’ll consider buying one as well, and playing along…I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.


I’d like to say that I’ve been busy in the craft room, but the cold has gotten worse, and I’m a snotty mess.  I did make one video, but it was bad…no horrible is a better term.  I wanted to try triple step stamping in the MISTI, but even though I used good acrylic stamps from Simon Says Stamp, and cleaned them thoroughly, they were so sticky, they pulled the papers from under two magnets and the images shifted enough that it ruined the look, thus ruining the card.  It’s a St. Patrick’s Day card for my sister, and it turned out OK, but definitely not video worthy…plus, I don’t know about all of you, but when I’m not feeling well, nothing goes right in the craft room. I wanted to stamp Gina K’s new Amalgam Ink on a tag that came with one of the stamp kits.  The Amalgam ink smeared, when it’s not supposed to…..and I’d even heat set it.  Alcohol markers smeared the ink (again not supposed to) to the point that the llama I had stamped, lost his entire face….So I had to stamp and re-color the llama on white cardstock, cut him out and glue him to the tag…..Let’s just say there’s nothing about this card that made me extremely happy.  In fact, the card made me feel like I should wrap things up until I felt better.  But since then, two days ago, I’m feeling worse instead of better, so no more craft room for me.

And this will tell you everything you need to know about how I handle colds…I’ve spent the last three days primarily watching cooking shows.  Yesterday, Rich made me lemon ricotta cookies from scratch, and I ate four without taking a breath.  I know, it’s disgusting, but I couldn’t help myself.  There wasn’t a lot of lemon, and the warm ricotta soothed my throat, and I lost all control.

If you’re wondering what kinds of cooking shows I like, they’re the ones on PBS..No commercials, and no cooking competitions, just cooking.  Years ago, when the cooking network first appeared on the scene, Rich and I were on vacation out west, when we found it.  We spent one whole day just watching cooking shows and said if we ever had that channel, we’d never watch anything else.  Sadly, the shows they used to make, have been replaced with a bunch of competition shows, and that killed it for me.  Just show me someone cutting a bunch of onions and I’m happy…I don’t know why, but there’s something completely relaxing about watching someone chopping.  I even love chopping gadgets, so if I come across a shopping channel where they’re selling those boxes where the person puts half an onion in the top and slams the lid down, thereby chopping the onion, I’m in.  I’d never buy one, because I know the strength it would take to do that, plus I don’t want to miss the opportunity to use a sharp knife to make tiny pieces of anything…I’m dangerous with a knife.

I started thinking about it, and came up with this (in case you wondered what makes me tick when I’m sick.)  I’m a poet…

A Recipe for the Perfect Day for Sandy (with a cold)

A.  Comfort foods including but not limited to:  My mom’s potato soup recipe, her creamed chip beef on toast (don’t hate me for loving salt), warm cookies fresh from the oven, warm tea with a lot of sugar and milk, basically any meal with chicken and gravy,  Kool-Aid—doesn’t burn my throat like other drinks (I know, I’m weird)

B.  Cooking Channel

C.  Great Book–has to be really good or I lose interest fast when I have a cold

D. Dog snuggling

E.  Having Rich nearby…

You can’t ask for more than that.