Kitty Cats and Cards Don’t Mix!

Mallett's Bay Boat

Ok, I am finally ready to tell this story; it isn’t pretty, but Real Life is messy, as I’m sure anyone who has ever had a dog, a cat or a small child will understand!

I mentioned at the beginning of June that I had attended a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator’s event where we met together to make each others’ cards in what is called a Shoebox Swap. Everyone brought a card sample and all the materials for everyone in attendance to make their own copy of the card. They ranged from quick and easy to more elaborate, but hands down, this card, designed by our colleague Mary, was the most detailed and time-consuming card there. Not only was the front gorgeous, but the  inside was decorated too:

Mallett's Bay inside

It was so detailed, in fact, that to save time, I took a picture of it and just brought the materials home to finish the card. It had originally been made into a birthday card, but I decided to make it into a Father’s Day card for Reggie’s dad. I thought it was perfect; it reminded me of Mallett’s Bay, the part of Lake Champlain in the town of Colchester, VT near where Dad lives, and this Dapper Denim blue and Cucumber Crush green are the exact colors of Colchester High School. What could be more perfect?

I usually finish my cards late at night, after my husband has gone to bed, so when this one was done, as usual, I set it up on the kitchen table so that he could sign it before he left for work and we could get it in the mail on time.

The next morning, imagine our supreme annoyance when we found the card knocked over, flat on it’s face, and a giant hairball thrown up on the back of it!

Now, we have four cats, but we knew immediately who the culprit was:

Eddie. The Emeritus Cat. He’s the Old One, and lately he’s made a habit of plunking himself down on my work table, right in the middle of the stamps, cardstock and embellishments.

So, what to do? Too late to make a new card, and this one had taken so much time! I did what any other paper arts lover would have done – I cut the front of the card off, mounted it onto a new, clean card base, cut the little boat out of the inside and re-used it, stamped the greeting again and die cut another lake from the Swirly Scribbles Thinlits Dies for the boat to float on!

If any of my sisters-in-law from Vermont are reading this, you may have seen Harold’s Father’s Day card; now you know the rest of the story!

Would you like to attempt this card in your own home? I challenge you – but keep the kitties away! Here are the supplies that I used:

Have you ever had a pet-related disaster while making cards? What did you do?

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

99 Envy

Gift cards are convenient and you know that you’re getting something your loved one will like. However, in our family, we’ve had lots of problems with going to the restaurant, the gas station, or the online merchant to redeem the card, and finding that it is not valid for use. Really? Someone is benefiting greatly here, but it’s not the giver or the receiver!

What’s going on? When I did a little investigating, I found that credit card failure is actually a widespread problem:

1. Sometimes validations fail at checkout. Also, dishonest clerks may sometimes slip in another card of their own and validate it while returning the unvalidated card back to the unaware customer.

2. A common scam is that someone will take the top card from off a large rack, copy numbers from the back, and then check online to see when that card is validated. When the card is purchased and validated, bingo! the thief will use it to make an online purchase before the unsuspecting gift giver has even had time to wrap it up.

So what to do? Well, for Father’s Day I decided to make my own cash holders which still show that we know what the dads like, but we don’t have to worry about the potential awkwardness of them finding “no balance” at check out.

Envy Punch Board

These little envelopes were so easy to make with my Envelope Punch Board; I started with a 4″ x 4″ piece of Designer Series Paper, put it on score line 2, and punched and scored on all four sides. Then I folded up on three sides and stuck it together with a little adhesive. I color-copied a little logo from their favorite restaurants to stick on the front!

The money holder can be attached to the front of the card as part of the decoration as shown in the card at the top of the page, or it can be slipped inside just like a gift card would have been:

Taco Envy

If you don’t like what’s happening, figure out a better way to get it done. Necessity really is the Mother of Invention. And the Envelope Punch board doesn’t hurt either!

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Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

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My husband Reggie and I love baseball, so we took Monday April 6th off from work because it was Opening Day – the first day of baseball season! It didn’t matter that we were watching TV; there were a lot of games on, so we cooked hot dogs and got into the spirit of the day, happy in the knowledge that with 160+ games yet to play, we will have a lot to look forward to this spring, summer and into the fall. This picture of us was taken a couple of years ago at Centennial Field in Burlington, VT, home of the Vermont Lake Monsters, minor league affiliates of our own Oakland A’s.

Not surprisingly, we card makers don’t always stamp bunnies and flowers; sometimes we even turn our talents toward the sports world when the occasion calls for it. Here is a card that my sister-in-law Mindy made for my husband’s birthday a while back:

Mindy Oriole cardOriole card back

She made this especially for him because when he lived back East, his favorite team was the Baltimore Orioles, and that number “8” on the front is for Cal Ripken, their Hall of Fame shortstop. Now that Reggie lives in Northern California, he still wears the black and orange, but it’s just as likely to be for the San Francisco Giants these days (check out the World Series Champions shirt he’s got on in the photo above.)

Yogi Berra Baseball card

Here are a couple of Father’s Day cards that I made for Reggie – there is no stamping on these; I typed the sentiments on the computer, but we papercrafters do whatever we need to make our cards reflect the images that we dream up in our minds.

100E0570

I have to agree with the immortal words of Humphrey Bogart, “A hot dog at the ball park is better than a steak at the Ritz.” Play ball!

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