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I love how Tim Holtz and Stampin’ Up! products often go so well together.  I still love Petals a Plenty embossing folder from SU, which I am pretty sure is now retired.  Butterflies and flowers always go so well together no matter what!

The card stock I used is Early Espresso SU, Pool Party SU & Very Vanilla SU.  Pattern paper is from Recollections.

Stamps used are both from Tim Holtz, butterflies and frame corners (inside).

Ink used: Walnut Stain TH, Black Soot TH & Tip Top Taupe SU.

I used the Walnut Stain with my SU brayer to darken the flowers and ink around the edges of the Recollection card stock.  Walnut Stain goes so well with Early Espresso base cardstock as well.  Used Black Soot on the butterflies and Tip Top Taupe on the inside of the card.

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If your making this card don’t worry if you don’t get it exactly as I did.  Put your own spin on it.  Leave me a comment if you do, I would live to see your take!  If you don’t like making cards but love sending them, then you can find this card here in my Etsy shop.

Happy Crafting!

Melissa

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…Because You’re Awesome!

This is a collaborative effort from the Botanicals For You, Gorgeous Grudge, and Clockwork to make this Non-Girlie-Card.  I really love how the Gorgeous Grudge & Clockwork compliment each other.  Most of the cards I see on Pinterest are girlie which is all well and good.  If your anything like me, most of your cards are girlie!  So it would be nice to use the girlie sets for manly cards. 🙂

Non-Girlie-Card Outside

I used a combination of Tim Holtz and StazOn inks.  Stampin’ Up!’s Brick Wall embossing folder on Whisper White paper.  I embossed after I had stamped Gorgeous Grunge and Clockwork stamps.  I mounted it on Baked Brown Sugar and then used Wild Wasabi or Gumball Green (these two colors are so close to each other I have a hard time telling them apart!).  For the salutation I used Tango Twist paper and one of the salutations from Botanicals For You.

imageI even remembered to decorate the inside of these cards.  Something I don’t do all that often but always love it when other people do.  I just need to make more of an effort.  I think it adds that extra something to the card that you just can’t get from a retail shop card.  If you would like to buy this card click here.

This would be good for just about anyone really.  I was thinking Fathers day?

Craft on!

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Botanicals For You

Botanicals for you stamp set was also from 2016 Sale-A-Brations from Stampin’ Up!  I am so glad I got this.  This has the feel of those hand drawn cards that get printed but better!  Better because, well duh, it’s handmade & the layout can be changed to any variation.  When I saw this set in the catalog, the card below immediately came to mind.

Botanicals For You

I am still in the make-your-own background kick.  Pattern paper is good for OOAK items I sell in my shop or for personal gifting.  I feel that if I sell a product over and over I should be able to get as close to the original picture as possible.  That being said, even if I make the same card ten times in a row, they turn out enviably different.  Which I like, I feel it shows that it was made by hand and not in a factory.  I think I want to make some card gift sets in the future and especially for when I do craft fairs.  I keep seeing slick handmade boxes and folders people have made for their sets on Pinterest.

If you like this card but don’t want to make it, you can purchase it here.

Alternatively this is what I used for the card if you want to make it:

  • Paper: Watermelon Wonder
  • Inks: Watermelon Wonder (2015-2017 In Color), Cucumber Crush (2015-2017 In Color), Blackberry Bliss (Classic), Lost Lagoon (Classic), Crushed Curry (Classic)
  • Gold Embossing powder (Not SU!)

Craft On!

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Spring Flowers & Flowering Fields

Spring is finally here and no one is more ready than me!  I am so excited for sun, gardening and especially craft fairs.  I am not very good at preplanning for it but, I am certain I will be able to find a few to be a part of.  It is a lot, A L-O-T work to go to a craft fair.  Especially by myself.

I made some super cute spring cards over the weekend.  The stamps are from the 2016 Sale-a-Bration Catalogue , Flowering Fields, by Stampin’ Up!

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  • Paper: Melon Mambo, Crumb Cake and Whisper White
  • Embossing Folder:  Spring Flowers
  • Stamp Set: Flowering Fields (2016 Sale-A-Bration)

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  • Paper: Mint Macaron, Crumb Cake and Whisper White
  • Embossing Folder:  Spring Flowers
  • Stamp Set: Flowering Fields (2016 Sale-A-Bration)

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  • Paper: Crushed Curry, Crumb Cake and Whisper White
  • Embossing Folder:  Spring Flowers
  • Stamp Set: Flowering Fields (2016 Sale-A-Bration)

 

I made these as a set of 3 and decided not add any kind of salutation so they can be for any occasion.  So many possibly for these stamp sets!

Craft On!

 

 

Staying Connected - Vandicrafts.com

When you have an online business staying connected with other like minded individuals can literally make or break you.  I almost shut down my Etsy shop Vandicrafts recently.  It wasn’t due to lack of sales, this is my slow season and that doesn’t bother me.  It was lack of motivation to even try.  I was just entering my craft room for new orders for a good six months.  While this was going on, I didn’t stop to try to figure out why I didn’t want to.  Not until later that is.

I have to give credit to a woman we will call her, S, who contacted me via Etsy to see if I go to the local meet ups for a team we both belong too.  I confessed I hadn’t but had always meant too.  What really was stopping me anyway? Fear of “not fitting in” and the rejection that goes with it.  I think most people have this fear.  I normally don’t let a fear stop me but I had in this case.  S offered to meet me before the meet up so we would both be a bit more comfortable and would know at least one person a little bit.

S is a lovely woman and we talked about our pasts and how we both got to this point.  We both ended up going to the meet up and I plan to go back as they are monthly.  I believe S plans to as well.

It wasn’t until I was driving home from the meet up that I realized.  This is what I was missing all along!  The social interaction with people who are like minded and not related to me.  To think I almost shut down my Etsy shop because I was lonely and not because I no longer enjoyed doing it.  I have had several great ideas for new products which I have not had in months!  No one is an island, you are no exception, stay connected.

What you should do if you find yourself in a similar situation?

  • Utilize the Etsy forums and Teams, there are a lot to chose from.
  • Try to find local groups that are about or somewhat related to what you do.
  • Small business meet ups can also win you a few gems in terms of strategies.
  • Go to lunch with a fellow Etsian.  It can be as simple as what S did.
  • Be receptive if someone contacts you, networking is always a good thing!

Author: Melissa Vandridge / Photo: Copyright: rawpixel / 123RF Stock Photo Added text “Staying Connected” not part of the original picture.

Smack Down sounds like something you would find on a wrestling match!  This technique is super elegant when it is all complete.  Serenestamper.com made a video that I would like to share.  Visit her site she has a lot to offer!

As always I invite you to share your Smack Down creations with me.  This is what I came up with.

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I can see this technique being used with a variety of my stamps.  I think a snowflake stamp would look pretty cool. Maybe even using a few different ones.  I would love to see your creations :).

I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment! 😉

Have a wonderful day!

I came across this great video for the faux tile technique from KathleenStamps.com and thought I would share it with all of you!  I have seen a few of her video’s and I love how easy her videos are to follow along too.

Feel free to share your faux tile creations here!


Also I would love to hear from you in the comments section. 🙂

Have a fantastic day!

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Blue Pansy Pop Up Card from Vandicrafts

I came up with the pansy box card while perusing my favorite hunting ground for new idea’s, aka Pinterest, I came across a post on now to make fondant pansy’s.  I immediately began to thinking of how I can put these in a box card, of course!  I used the standard box card base.  If you have a cutting machine and would like to own this file click HERE.  The pin that inspired this creation can be found HERE.

Blue Pansy Pop Up Card from Vandicrafts

I literally followed the pictures on the pin but instead of a dot of fondant I used some double sided tape.  My favorite tape is SookWang tape from Scor-Pal* that comes on a roll.  Once the circles were all laid out, I used Tim Holtz Squeezed Lemonade Distress ink and just rubbed the white bit with my high-tech tool called The Finger.  Index to be exact!  Added purple lines with a semi-fine felt pen and presto, a pansy is born!  While I was doing this project I had a ingenious idea.  I always have a bit of card stock left over after I make box card bases which I currently toss into a box since I can’t bring myself to throw it way.  I will take those left overs and make different colors pansy’s.  Per haps a multicolored pansy box card is in the near future.  You just have to come back and find out, won’t you?!?!

Blue Pansy Pop Up Card from Vandicrafts

If you would like to purchase this card, visit my shop Vandicrafts.

*I am a part of Amazon’s affiliate program, however I only endorse products I truly use.  I will never endorse  a product I do not use or do not trust.  By clicking on the link your helping my business grow as I may get a “kick back” from Amazon. Thank you so much for your support!

 

super alphaOne of my best friends is having a baby and for her baby shower she wanted DC Comics as the theme.  Her sister and I sat down and brain stormed some ideas.  For the invitations I kept envisioning a superman cape.  Partially because she kept saying how active he is, always rolling around and kicking her various organs … like babies do.  Also partially due to his name, Killian, which makes me think of a superhero, such a cool name.

Originally I had just created the “K” for the invitations that turned out so cute and got some great compliments.   After the party I thought, why not create the entire alphabet?!  So I did and put it in my Etsy store Vandicrafts Digital for instant download.

imageThis is how the invitation turned out.  For the writing on the other side I just used my Cricut for that.  I have an Explore that can hold a pen.  I know my Expression II could but I am not sure about the other models.  The pens I find work the best that are fine point are the Pilot Precise V5 pens.  These are the best for writing that I have found.  They can take a fair amount of abuse as well which is good, I forget them in my Cricut for long periods of time and they never dry out.

take a walk

Being encouraging to ourselves is probably one of the hardest things for us as humans to do.  We constantly doubt our ability to do the things that we know we do well.  Whether it is at home or at work believing in yourself is not conceit but rather confidence.

When you have confidence in yourself and your work, you end up with better work than if you doubted yourself the entire time.  I often find when I enter a doubting tailspin I usually end up doing something wrong and making a mistake.  That’s not to say making a mistake is bad, just the opposite!  For a mistake to be worth while however you must learn from it and grow.

My husband has a huge issue with self doubt.  He is a very good writer but gets into these low confidence moods because what he is writing isn’t perfect out of the gate.  He doubts himself the most when a task is overwhelming to him.  To get over this hurdle he breaks it down into much smaller chunks.

In terms of his writing, instead of thinking of the entire book he just concentrates on one or two characters rather than an entire group and branchs out from there.  This can be applied to many different situations.  When he does this he is much more positive and excited about doing the writing.

Having a spouse or someone close by that is your rock is amazingly powerful.  Be careful however to not make your rock into a endless fountain of validation.  I love being validated like the next person but I know that if I don’t believe in my abilities how can I expect others too?  Be on your side, after all you could be your best cheerleader.

 

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If you are anything like me, you want the most nutritious bread for your family.  That bread can cost upward of $5.00 a loaf when it is not on sale.  Additionally, I have been trying to rid my home of preservatives.  Which is hard but in the end I believe will be worth it.

A few months ago I thought about just making it from scratch.  I have a Kitchen Aid with a dough hook which will take care of the part I (and my wrists) hate, kneading!  I am quite sure I am not alone in this dislike.

Thanks to mechanized kitchens, we no longer have to.  All I was lacking was a good recipe.  So I did what any self-respecting woman would do, look on Google.  Why not?  I came across a great blog HappyMoneySaver.  You can find the original recipe here.  Which for the record is great, but I just can’t help changing most recipes.  I like to change some of the ingredients and make it … mine.

After making the recipe a few times I wondered if I was truly saving any money but expending a little extra effort.  The answer ended up being Yes and No.

  • Organic King Arthur Flour:  From the 5lb bag you get get roughly 19 cups so that equates to $.44 each.
  • One Degree Organic Foods Organic Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour: 80oz. gets about 18.75 cups equating to $.70 each.

  • One Degree Organic Foods Organic Sprouted Spelt Flour – 80 oz: also get 18.75 cups at $.94 each.

  • Nature Nate’s Raw Honey: if you get 32oz you will get about 16 uses $1.10 each 1/4 cup.  I use the honey left in the measuring cup to spread on the top after heating it a bit in the microwave. However I also use things like Buckwheat Raw Organic Honey which comes out to be about $2.50 a 1/4 cup.

  • Fleischmann’s Yeast, ActiveDry 4 oz Jar: 16 uses $.60 each.

  • Old fashioned Oats: I got this from my co-op for $1.19/lb.  for $.33 each 3/4 cup.
  • Raw Milk: I am lucky enough to live in a state where we are allowed to buy raw grass-fed milk however this is pretty pricy at $10-14 a gallon. I get mine for $10.50 for $.66 a cup.

You could make yours for much cheaper.  I chose to buy more expensive ingredients because I am making it at home I feel like I am getting a superior product.  If I bought a bread make by a bakery with all these ingredients I would be willing to be this bread would be upwards of $10-15 a loaf.   I recently ended up buying an loaf of Oat Nut Bread from the store because I was sick and really didn’t have the energy to make it.  I realized that my bread tastes so much better and is much more satisfying over all.

Here is my version of Karrie’s recipe.

Oat Bread Recipe -01

I end up making this about 2 times a week and takes me about 30 of actual activity.  In total there is about 3 hours for prep + rising+rising again+ cook time.  Don’t be discourage by this however.  With a little bit of planning you can work this right into a night where you are staying at home for the evening.

I would love to hear what you think of this recipe!

 

 

Over the years, like many of you, I have tried almost every kind of diet and had success with some for a while and miserably failed with most.  They all had similar characteristics such as, low/no-fat, low sodium, low calorie etc.  I think you get the point.  But what I never tried was a REAL FOOD lifestyle.

I even went as far to have bariactric sleeve surgery in September of 2013, which I will never regret.  I had lost 50 lbs which was great but really only half of what I set out to lose.  The hospital I had my surgery tests all the stomachs they take out as a standard and as a result I was 12 was diagnosed as Helicobacter Pylori (more commonly known as H. Pylori) which was 100% to blame for my GIRD.  Also for whatever reason my lactose intolerance also resolved after the surgery.  I had been lactose free for about 10 years (No one was happier than me I could have milk, yogurt and cheese again!).

For the most part I thought I ate pretty healthily, but after much research, I have come to the conclusion that there are important elements missing that all our bodies need to function correctly.  One of the main missing elements, is fat, the correct fat to be precise.  After I read a book called “Have Your Cake and Lose Weight Too” by DaNelle Wolford, which was super eye opening about real food!  She made a lot of sense.  But don’t just take her word for it, I didn’t.  After reading this book it sparked my curiosity if she was correct or was this just her opinion.  I found some awesome blogs that all make you think!  Check out Blair Blogs, Holistic Squid, Butter Believers, and Thank Your Body.

Step one on my way to a REAL FOOD lifestyle:  I am lucky to live in one of 13 states that have approved the sale of raw cow’s milk.  Oh boy have I been missing out!  I now only buy raw cow’s milk from grass fed cows from my local co-op.  Now it is double the price of Organic Milk in the regular store but I think its worth it.  I make all our yogurt (see a future post regarding this adventure!).    We no longer use any kind of creamer for our coffee except for raw milk and it is delicious!  I never thought I would give that up … EVER!  So yay me. 🙂  When I add it all together my household was spending about $35.00 a week on milk, yogurt and creamer.  If I buy 3 gallons of raw milk (most of the time we only use 2 unless I make some kind of cheese with it) it comes to $30.50 out the door.  which is about $5.00 cheaper than before.  All I have to spend is a bit more time per week on some preparation which is super worth it in the end.

Have you tried raw milk from grass fed cows?

Thank you for reading!

Melissa blog sig-01

 

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Made using A Beautiful Mess App in iPhone.

Update: As of 05/19/15 I decided to take a break from hosting these challenges.  I have had some issues with time and I don’t think my heart is really in it anymore.  Since no on has participated this month thus far coupled with the issue of making a card for my own challenge, I have decided to take a break.  I thank all of you that have participated on and off for the last year or so. 🙂

As some of you may have noticed that I didn’t get my new challenge posted on May Day!

So I decided to go with a theme Belated for May 2015. 🙂

I completely dropped the ball!  I had a lot going on this last week/weekend that included a sick cat, poor Kitty had a UTI but she is way better now.  A very large order to complete, a company contracted me a few weeks ago to make them 25, pop up box cards keep-sake invitation for an award ceremony they are having later this month, these shipped out today!

{Insert my project here! Still working on this!}

Who won last month?!

Sande from Sanden Supinat! Congratulations!  Here are the goodies I sent to her.  She makes some awesome cards click the link and check her out.  😉

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Thank you for your participation and patience! 🙂


This month I was paired up with wonderfully talented Amy from Creative Haven.  She makes some fabulous jewelry (check out her blog) and even donates earrings to women in chemo.  She is crazy about Project Life, even down to organizing it!  🙂

I always seem to end up sending off my packages on the very last acceptable day (which is the 20th of the month).  I thought I would just spring for the few extra bucks and send it via priority.  It would get there in 1-3 days and that would be that … or so I thought!  I decided to check up on the package last Thursday to just make sure she got it okay to discover it actually went to Atlanta, GA.  This is no where near where I actually sent it as Amy lives in CA not GA! lol Someone somewhere in Kent, WA miss-routed the package, way to go postal worker in Kent!  One phone call later a nice man named Ignatio routed the package to the correct state yay!  Amy received it and everything worked out.

 What I sent her:

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  1. Clutch purse card.
  2. Faux pearl “Bling” for her Project Life.
  3. Circle Creek Home Lavender soap which is so yummy!
  4. Clothespin magnets with cute little butterflies.
  5. A few gift tags
  6. 50 paper beads made from patterned card stock that I loved as beads

What she sent me:

imageI love the explosion of color she sent me! 🙂

  1. Blank journal 🙂  I will be using this pronto!
  2. Cute geometric rainbow card.
  3. 10 cute Thank You cards.
  4. Awesome rainbow stripped paper straws
  5. Neat colored pencils that I totally intend to use with the journal! 🙂

Click on the little circle below to visit the Local Adventurers blog to learn how you can participate!

Lovely Letters Snail Mail Exchange

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Last Sunday, Colin and I made our way down the the Fremont Market in Seattle.  I had heard about this market over the years but due the fact it resides in Seattle I always kind of dismissed it.  I think I was scared to not do well.  My fear is really unfounded.  I have nothing but fabulous feedback on my Etsy shop which should be all I really need to go off of.  I intend to make a bunch of my best Etsy sellers and take them to the market in a few weeks.

The weather was great, it actually stopped raining!  We just had a great time looking at all the booths.

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I loved this both that had necklaces all made from chandeliers!  Such a wonderful up-cycle idea. 🙂 This necklace was one of my favorite ones.

imageMe and my lovely husband Colin.

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The lady in the purple coat, which is coincidentally also in a picture above (I promise I was not following her!), as soon as she got up there she said, “I just wanted to see if I could see over.”  She did buy a coffee but the comment made me laugh as I was wondering the same thing but for me, not her.  Motofish coffee, is where I discovered my new favorite drink!  It’s called London Fog: Earl Grey tea, vanilla flavoring and steamed milk.  It is yummy!  I got some vanilla flavoring and started making these at home.  I put some milk in the microwave to heat it up and I got my much cheaper, but just as good, London Fog.

We ate some “proper” fish-n-chips from the Nosh truck.  Nosh is a slang word in England for food which I had never heard.  Learned something new!

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Finally, we went and visited the Fremont Troll under the bridge.

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Now to make, make, make some cards!

Thank you for reading,
Melissa blog sig-01

 

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