Snuggly Squirrel Tree Trunk Window Card

Happy fall, y’all!

I know…you haven’t heard from me on here in a while. I’ll try to do an update post soon, but make sure to follow me on Instagram to say up to date.

Anyways, I’m excited to be popping on today to share a card project using several items from the latest Right at Home release! Have you picked up anything yet? If not, I hope this project gives you a bit of inspiration of what to get. *wink wink*

Let’s get started…

Snuggly Squirrel Tree Trunk Window Card // rightathomeshop.com/blog

I started by stamping all of my different elements using a variety of ink colors. First off, I used a few different browns to build my cute squirrel from the Snuggly Squirrel set. For this card I decided to also use the scarf but you can easily leave it off for a different look. I also stamped the little acorn from the set as it nestles into his little paws perfectly. Did you know that the coordinating die set cuts around his paws so you can slip in one of his treats? I love that about this set!

Snuggly Squirrel Tree Trunk Window Card // rightathomeshop.com/blog

I pulled in a few of the elements from Forest Findings to round out my scene. I stamped the pumpkin and three leaves. Then I got to work on my background or tree trunk, in this case. I double-stamped a piece of A2 white cardstock with my Woodgrain Background Stamp in a light brown ink. This background stamp is quickly becoming one of my new go-tos! I ran the panel through my die-cutting machine with the scallop circle from my Scallop Stitches Die Set and the largest stitched rectangle panel from the Find the Beauty Die Set.

Snuggly Squirrel Tree Trunk Window Card // rightathomeshop.com/blog

I grabbed a square of Strathmore Bristol Smooth cardstock for behind the scallop cut-out and inked it up with Distress Oxide ink in Antique Linen. This gives a subtle background for the scene. Next, I stamped a sentiment from Critter Chat onto a banner made from some green cardstock and got to work assembling my card!

Snuggly Squirrel Tree Trunk Window Card // rightathomeshop.com/blog

To finish off the design, I used a few of the sequins included in our beautiful Falling Leaves Sequin Mix…the colors compliment this card perfectly!

Click below to watch my process video for this card…

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I hope you enjoyed today’s card! And are just as excited for fall as I am! Check back later this week for another card project and process video.

Happy Tuesday!

Nicole

Snuggly Squirrel
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Snuggly Squirrel Die Set
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Forest Findings
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Forest Findings Die Set
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Critter Chat
9.99
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Woodgrain Background Stamp
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Falling Leaves Sequin Mix
3.50
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Scallop Stitches Die Set
23.99
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Find the Beauty Die Set
21.99
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Right at Home with Joan Bardee #1 | A Monthly Crafty Chit Chat Column

A huge thank you to the tremendously talented Nicole for providing me with the opportunity to write a monthly column for Right at Home. I love her products and am thrilled to be here! I hope you’ll enjoy reading this column.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a retired lawyer who has been stamping for well over a decade. I blog at Dear Paperlicious. My blog is mainly cards, but lately I’ve been writing about life. This column is a little bit of both.

Right at Home with Joan Bardee | A Monthly Crafty Chit Chat Column - rightathomeshop.com/blog

I was upset, very upset. So, instead of going to lunch in the cafeteria with my friends, I walked down the perfectly polished hall of my Catholic girls’ high school towards the principal’s office. I wanted to know what went wrong and I figured the principal would have the answer.

I can still see her tall, somewhat thick, body sitting behind her wooden desk. Her nun’s habit covered all but her face. She seemed old and very wise. Now I realize she was probably 30. The nuns were a mystery. We didn’t know their real names or the color of their hair or where they grew up. Like the Wizard of Oz, they came from nowhere, but we listened to their every word, expecting to receive the answers to all of life’s mysteries.

My SAT scores had come the day before. The envelope sat on the kitchen counter, mixed in with the electric and other bills. My mother hadn’t mentioned that they had come. Parents (at least mine) were completely uninvolved in our education back then. But I was keeping an eye out for the envelope. I took it up to my room. I wanted to savor this moment by myself.

I had always been a very good student. I worked hard for those A’s, often late into the night. English was pretty easy, and I could memorize geography and foreign languages. But, math and science were tough, so I spent hours every night trying to master them.

My father had graduated from high school, but my mom had dropped out of school after 8th grade in order to help support her family during the depression. I was the child expected to go to college. I couldn’t wait. I poured over those college catalogs the way other kids looked at Seventeen Magazine, imagining living in a dorm room and staying up late in the night talking with my roommate. My SAT scores, plus my good grades, were going to be my ticket to a college scholarship.

The principal’s door was open. She looked up, surprised to see me. “Sister, do you have time to talk to me?” Yes, she did. I handed her my SAT scores and asked her why they were so much lower than my friends’ scores. Without skipping a beat she said: “Joan, you’re not smart. You do well in school because you work so hard. We can see it in your eyes in class. If you didn’t work so hard, you’d just be average.”

Average? My face blazed with embarrassment. I sat there for a moment and, after mumbling some thanks, walked out of her office and back to my next class. I could feel the Scarlet A for Average burned on my forehead (the things we do to ourselves).

That conversation, which took place almost 49 years ago, was the beginning of years of self-doubt. No matter how hard I worked in college or law school, or later as a lawyer, I knew that I was just faking it. I kept waiting for someone to show up and declare me a fraud.

But, that didn’t happen. As the years went on, I often won my cases, in part because I was so well prepared. Judges complimented me on that preparation. My clients (well, most of them) liked me. I still wasn’t the smartest person in the room, but sometimes I beat the smartest person in the room simply because I worked harder.  I learned that, given a choice between hiring someone with a perfect SAT score or a hard worker, the latter made a better employee.

Stamping doesn’t have a lot in common with lawyering. In fact, it uses very different skills. But, I’ve been on a somewhat similar journey in stamping. I wasn’t born with the artist/design gene. In fact, my dear blog readers will sometimes comment “Love the card, but I really love your writing.” In the beginning, those comments reminded me of that awful moment in the principal’s office. They felt like an insult.

Not anymore.  I am finally able to agree with those comments and I appreciate and value every single one.

Now, I enjoy trying to make cards that work for me. Rather than worrying that I don’t make stunning cards, I just keep plugging away like I did in high school. I study cards that I love, trying to unravel the mystery of a good design in the same way I tried to understand chemistry. I ask myself -- what is there about that card that appeals to me? Then I try and incorporate that design element, or elements, into my cards.

For example, one stamper almost always places the elements of her cards in the upper left or the bottom right corner of the card. I love how that tight focal point is balanced by a lot of white space. It works for her, so I try it. I didn’t come up with the idea on my own, but I use that technique sometimes.

Another woman stamps her images so that they wrap beautifully, almost delicately, around the sentiments on her cards. It’s not easy to copy that idea (I’ve tried!), but I can at least admire it and improve my layouts.

And then there’s the cardmaker who frequently uses a color scheme of bright colors + black on a white card.  I’ve learned from enjoying her cards that that combination of colors almost always works (see my card below!).

I used to feel that copying design elements was “cheating,” and that I should only create “original” cards. I wasted a lot of money and time and frustration trying to ace the SATs of cardmarking. I don’t have the design or artistic talent to create unique show-stoppers, but with hard work, I enjoy making cards that (I hope) people enjoy receiving.

And, speaking of cards, here’s one that I made with one of my favorite Right at Home sets, Grateful Heart. 

Right at Home with Joan Bardee #1 | A Monthly Crafty Chit Chat Column - rightathomeshop.com/blog

I repeatedly stamped just one small leaf from the set, and colored them with alcohol markers in an unusual aqua/blue combination. Then I added a sentiment from Happy Mail. I’d say it was quick but it took a few tries on scrap paper to get the leaves where I wanted them.

I don’t give my cards grades. That would take me back to that awful time when I thought my worth was valued by getting as many “As” as possible, or devalued by an average SAT score. And I hope you aren’t silently grading yourself either.  Cut the cardstock, stamp the image, and enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed this card and column!  See you next month! 

Joan

Grateful Heart
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Happy Mail
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Harvest Blessings Fall Leaves Cards by Nathalie

Hi! Nathalie (aka AnOunceofCreativity) here again! Today, I will share two card projects I have created using the Be Thankful stamp set and Fall Leaves.

My first card was inspired by the fabulous Fall Leaves Die Set:

Harvest Blessings Fall Leaves Cards by Nathalie // rightathomeshop.com/blog

I cut the same leaf shape twice, once in patterned paper and once in vellum, using the negative of the patterned paper as (raised) background over my yellow card base. I also cut an acorn out of cardstock for added contrast. I like clean designs but I often add and mix textures. That is my purpose with the enamel dots, stitched outline, string bow and ribbon banner.

Harvest Blessings Fall Leaves Cards by Nathalie // rightathomeshop.com/blog

To finish off, I stamped a sentiment from the new Be Thankful stamp set directly on the background. I love the mix of fonts and the size of this sentiment and I even used it again on my second card.

This second card was inspired by the Fall Leaves stamp set. I loved the small leaves and berries in this set and really wanted to show off their design. I masked and sprayed white cardstock with two different warm fall colors and stamped three clusters of leaves and berries on the edges.

Harvest Blessings Fall Leaves Cards by Nathalie // rightathomeshop.com/blog
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I am planning on sending these to family for Thanksgiving and I hope to have inspired you to do the same!

Thank you for stopping by!

Nathalie

Fall Leaves
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Fall Leaves Die Set
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Be Thankful
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