I’m calling this post #HappyBirthday because that is the sentiment on the card I am sharing.  This is a card for my husband’s upcoming birthday.  I can hear him now when  he reads it.  He will say something like, “Pound sign, happy birthday. Huh?” LOL!   Then I will have to explain.  Before he retired he was a software test guru for Boeing, but he is totally out of it as far as social media is concerned.  And for him, the # is still the symbol for the pound sign or the board for playing tic-tac-toe.

I am positive the only reason why I know about wiki’s, blogs, Facebook, twitter… all of that stuff… is because of my recent teaching experience and my daughter.  She keeps me updated.  My son, on the other hand, is probably the only 28 year-old on the planet that doesn’t have a Facebook page.  His philosophy is there is nothing he feels he needs the world to know.  In a lot of ways, you have to respect that mentality because how many people air their dirty laundry on Facebook and get themselves in trouble?

So here is the card I made for him.  I love this stamp set!  If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you.  A special thank you goes out to my sister who is an avid follower and commenter.  If it wasn’t for her I would think no one reads what I write here.  She is one of my biggest fans!  She even made a display board for the cards I’ve sent her over the years and has it hanging in her family room.  Seems I’m gonna have to send her a few more because some of the cards are from when I first started and are UG-LY! 🙂

Gary's Birthday

If you notice, I’ve made this  card with soon to be retired Sweet Taffy Designer Series Paper.  If you are interested in either of these things, you need to hurry and order them before supplies run out.

Until next time…

Happy Stamping!




On a Soapbox

I’ve been missing in action again, and that is because I have been focusing on everything but stamping and writing lately.

Two weekends ago, we had our master bedroom and another bedroom painted.  If you don’t think that was a mess, well then…  It took the painters two days to get the two rooms done and me another week to get them put back together.

In the process, a local school district called me about a possible long-term substitute assignment beginning April 27 and ending May 28.  I agreed to a one week trial (my thinking) since I knew I was qualified for the position.  In Colorado, a long-term substitute (longer than 10 days) must be highly qualified to teach the subject in which they will be substituting.  This was a 7th grade Language Arts position in a very low-income middle school.   If I remember correctly, the school’s exact words were, “So we will schedule you for a week and we will see how it goes after that.”  What I heard was, “This might be a tough assignment, so if you don’t want it at the end of the week, we will understand.” The sub they had initially lined up for the job decided he/she didn’t want to do it after all.    I spoke with the teacher with which I would be teaming and she said there had been several subs in the position since the beginning of April.  The students hadn’t had any consistency since their regular teacher left on maternity leave.

Let me clarify something…Low income meant nothing for me; it didn’t scare me.  I spent my entire public school teaching career teaching in a low-income middle school.  Eighty-six percent of the students in this school qualified for free and reduced lunches in 2014.  Forty- four percent of the student population of the school from which I retired qualified for the same program.  The ethnicity of the student population in my old school was also very diverse just like the school I was planning to work in for the next five weeks.  I didn’t know any of these statistics when I agreed to the assignment. I only knew where the school was located in town and knew that it was low income with a very diverse ethnic population. I don’t like going into anything with a pre-conceived notion.

During my time as a teacher, I never had any severe behavior issues with my students.  They were good kids that knew the value of a dollar because they learned its value from their parents.  The majority of their parents were hard-working blue-collar adults that were doing the best they could for their kids, like my family when I was growing up.  Most of my students earned everything they had.  I taught advanced kids, and I taught kids below their grade level.  On a few occasions during my last year the behavior of some of the students in one of my classes prevented me from teaching, but for the most part, I never really had any behavior issues.  I was out for a day or two here and there and had to get a sub to cover my classes.  I remember one time a few of my students decided, they would act up with the sub, and the consequences were severe from both the building administration and from me because I had pre-warned them.  The deal was always, “get in trouble with a sub; get in trouble with me.”

Anyway, to make a long story, which has already gone on too long short, by the end of the week, I decided not to return to the long-term position.  The students’ behavior was reprehensible, to say the least.  I was hardly ever able to teach because of it.  I spent most of my time trying to get the students to listen to me.  Not all were this way, but the majority was.  I even had one tell me to “shut-up.”  He didn’t like the fact that I was asking him to stop talking so I could teach, so he told me, “Why don’t you shut-up?”  Another told me I was “stupid.”  Finally, the student who told me to shut-up then attempted to tell me the reason the students talked back to subs was because they were, “advanced students and bored.” “You haven’t taught us anything new!” he exclaimed.  I told him to tell himself whatever he needed to justify his poor behavior, but I  taught advanced students before and I know what advanced student behavior looks like.  It is always easier to blame our actions on something or someone else than to take responsibility for ourselves.

By the end of the week, I told the principal that I would not be back.    He understood my reasoning perfectly well.  Funny thing is, I was offered the position again via the district’s automatic sub caller for this week.  Needless to say, I turned it down.  Now I know why the original substitute and all of the others that came before me did not stay.

Here is my question.  Why?  Why do the kids in this school behave so poorly? Here is what I think.  I think student behavior relates to parental involvement. I think the rate of parental involvement goes up with the amount of education and financial means of parents.  I don’t think it is a good enough excuse, but that is what I think.  I wish someone would do a study on this.  Maybe someone already has.

As I raised my children, I felt their behavior reflected directly on me. You know the old saying, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”  I had a university professor tell me once that if I ever wanted to know why a child was they way he or she was to look at his parents.  If my kids learned good manners at home, they would use them elsewhere.  If they didn’t, they would have to answer to me.  That is what my parents taught me.  My parents weren’t educated by today’s standards.  Neither one of them went to high school!  I probably would have qualified for free and reduced lunch when I was a kid.  I never told any of my teachers they should shut up or they were stupid…not aloud anyway.

As a single mother, I was low-income, and my children qualified for free and reduced lunch.  They never told any of their teachers to shut up or they were stupid because if they had, they would not have lived to tell about it.  They may have acted up at home, but when they were away from home, they were expected to behave appropriately.  I had a friend tell another friend of mine once he thought my children were afraid of me.  Her response was, “She is their parent, not their friend.”  I think children need to be a little afraid of their parents.  I don’t mean kids should be afraid because their parents abuse them, but afraid because their parents give them negative consequences because of poor choices they might make.

I am off my soapbox and ready to share my project. 🙂

Today’s creation is done using a piece of the Moonlight Designer Series Paper Stack and two current stamp sets found in the Occasions Catalog; Crazy About You and Butterfly Basics.  I also cheated a little on this card and used an already retired item.  I used the spriting tool we used to have with the Hello Honey Stampin’ Write Marker to spritz the background of the card.  Hope you like it.

Mom's BirthdayI had to fussy cut the flowers, but it wasn’t that big of a deal.  I also used only a small piece of the Striped Scallop I cut out using the Striped Scallop Thinlit Die.

Hope you enjoyed your visit today.  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!


Recycled Paper Pumpkin Stamp Sets

You probably thought I dropped off the face of the Earth, but I didn’t.  I am still here.  Just been quite busy the last week or so.  I managed to sub four days last week.  I don’t know what possessed me!  By Friday I was thinking, “Working four days is too much for a retired person!”  So this week, I am only scheduled to work one day; tomorrow.  So far, I have one day scheduled for next week, but I am thinking I might schedule one or two more.

I have also been busy getting two bedrooms ready for painting this week.  Since we moved in here in 2001, I have been wanting to have the master bedroom painted, along with my son’s old room.  When we moved in, his room had air planes stenciled onto the walls because it was occupied by two little boys before him.  He was around 14 when we moved in, and I never repainted the room.  (Shame on me.)  Now that he is 28 and moved out, I have decided it is time!  My son came over on Sunday and helped clear out the rest of his stuff that he didn’t want.  All that is in there now are a few of his masculine decorations that he didn’t want to take, a bed, bookshelf and desk.  My husband has taken over the room with his computer, etc.  So I know he will appreciate not having stenciled air planes on the walls. LOL!

I have managed to do some stamping.  Two weeks ago I spent an entire day in my stamp room creating a gift set of note cards.  My daughter will be doing an expo in Denver in July.  She will be showcasing her line of clothing and jewelry. (Click the Freebird Philosophy  tab at the top of the page to go to her Etsy store.)  She asked me to share the booth with her and sell some of my creations.  So, you know how that goes.  Whatever we can do to help out our children, especially if we can do it…

I used a lot of old Paper Pumpkin stamp sets along with many current ones to create these cards.  Some of the cards are cased; some are my own creation.  I hope you enjoy looking at them, and if you have any questions about them, or would like to purchase a set or two, please let me know.

The first photo is of the chevron bag they will be wrapped in.  The decoration on the bag is my own original creation.


The bag contains five note cards that look like this…


This card is CASED from one I saw elsewhere.  The stamp sets are current photopolymer sets and Gorgeous Grunge.


The birthday card is done using an old Paper Pumpkin set and Gorgeous Grunge.


The thank you card is a combination of a current set (Gorgeous Grunge) and an old Paper Pumpkin Set. The ribbon I used was from Sale-a-bration and is no longer available.   The design is my own creation.


This card was CASED from my friend and team mate, Dawn.  It uses the current Work of Art stamp set.


Finally, the last card features Gorgeous Grunge, and the sentiment is from the first ever Paper Pumpkin kit.

Hope you enjoyed the cards as much as I enjoyed making them.  There is a list of all the Stampin’ Up! products I used to create these at the end of this post.

For more information on Paper Pumpkin,  click the tab at the top of this page.  When you are finished reading about it, click the Paper Pumpkin button on the right hand side of the page to enroll.

Until next time…(Hopefully it won’t be so long)

Happy Stamping!






The Bagger Chronicles; Part 2

Well, since our last visit it seems nothing much new has happened.  I continue to bag groceries at our local commissary and am soon about to begin substitute teaching for one of our local districts.  We will see which one I give up first.

The amount of pettiness that goes on among the ranks of commissary baggers and workers is perplexing.  The frequency with which my coworkers will run to “report” a minor indiscretion one might make while bagging groceries confounds me daily!  After all, how many “indiscretions” might one make?  And what “indiscretion” might be a reportable offense?  One would be surprised!  It seems I am always getting into “trouble” for one thing or another.  One day it might be for actually thinking and using my brain.  Another, it might be for simply following the rules by rote.  Here is an example.

Baggers wait in line until signaled to the cash registers to bag a customer’s groceries. The signal usually comes in the form of a black or orange flag…it is very high tech. The bagger waiting for a customer at an open check out flags an orange flag for the next bagger in line to come and help.  When the lead bagger takes the customer’s groceries to his/her car, the assistant bagger becomes the lead bagger for the next customer, and in turn flags either orange or black for his/her assistant. Yesterday, as I was waiting to be flagged, a cashier opened a checkout lane and I thought (that was my mistake) “She is going to need a bagger.” Just as I thought this and began to head toward that cashier, another bagger flagged me. Instead of going to the bagger that flagged me, I went to the newly opened checkout lane and sent the bagger behind me to the person that flagged. Immediately another bagger who shall remain nameless (mainly because I don’t know what her name is) got her panties in a bunch. You would think I had committed one of the seven deadly sins! “What’s the difference?” I asked her. “Either way works!” You would think. However, I learned that baggers can’t be choosers! Ba Dum-(b)!  🙂

Here’s a birthday card I created using the Balloon Bash stamp set  in the Occasions Catalog and ribbon from Best Year Ever Accessory Pack in Sale-a-bration.

Balloon Bash - 1

Hope you enjoyed your stop here today.  Until next time…

Happy Stamping!