Great news…GREAT news….& more GREAT NEWS!

Well HELLOHappy summer and happy HEAT (well I guess, it is summer!!!)



I surely hope that this post finds you well and healthy! We all know this…but I will say it again, this is a strange and crazy/scary time that we are all experiencing over the country. Our state of Maryland, is doing well with the virus but I will say that we have a very proactive Governor.

Many of you have asked me….(and wow – you have a GREAT MEMORY)…but I was expecting my 1st grandchild on July 4th! (well….technically Ashleigh(my daughter-in-law) and James (my son)….and I am OVER THE MOON HAPPY TO SHARE….that ….

Wesley Merlin Itell entered this world on July 7th at 6:29 p.m. weighing in at 8 lbs. 12 ozs and 21 1/2″ long….and I just have to say I am still on A GRANDMOTHERS CLOUD! He is just adorable!

When I say that I do not know what end is up….I really and truly thought….wow – we have been busy!!! I truly feel bad saying that as let’s face it…we all are busy and we all have STUFF going on in our lives! I know that, I get it and when you sum it up it is called the Game of LIFE!

All is good, it is actually GREAT and I wanted to pop in and share my excitement and also let you know that I have more super fun and cute card kits ready to rumble!



OK – we will get to the card kits in a bit….as I decided that I would be fair and give everyone a HEAD’S UP to when they would be available….Enough on that – let’s get to Wes’s pictures!


 Wes at the hospital on his 1st night…just look at those sweet lips!


Below was his 1st picture after he was born…so darn cute!



James and Ashleigh brought Wes over to see us after they went for the

1st doctor’s check …. fortunately his doctors office is close by!



Why not use the Dining Room table as a changing table…..

this works for me!




He makes my heart pitter-patter and I am just so grateful that he is here and Ashleigh is well…Having a child is truly a miracle and one that I always am in awe of and so grateful for. By nature I am not one that gets overly nervous but I can say…I was on “pins and needles” awaiting his arrival to this world!

Now to bring you into more “life stuff”  – we are in the trenches of doing the ugly grunt work of cleaning out the farm as it was to go to closing (months ago)…and yep – the virus has not helped with the process of loans, appraisals etc…..and it was to be (July 15th ) and once again…a delay!

All I can say is OH WELL… will happen when it is meant to be and my heart tells me that it is meant to be as the family that is purchasing it….is a carbon copy of what we were 15 years ago when we bought it and I know that they will love it like we did! There is not a doubt in my mind and my heart is so excited for them as their 3 children are about the same age as ours were when we bought it. It certainly was a memory maker for us and it will do the same for them….I just feel it!

I continue to love living on the Eastern Shore and my Dad pops up daily (he lives just 3 miles away) and that gives him a sense of purpose and also a dinner mate for me when John is not here! I have been doing more gardening these past months than I have done in years….the flowers are over the top beautiful and abundant! My  “room above the garage – aka studio” is coming along and the bones of it are ready to rumble, its just the finishing touches of “pretty” aren’t quite there yet, but you will see it when it is finished!







Below is a cute project that I made for James and Ashleigh….We all know that having thank you notes ready is a lifesaver and since they are nuts about everything nautical I thought that these would be appropriate! I decided to put a fun sentiment on the front instead of thank you so they could use them other notes.

Do you remember that I blogged about these super cute boxes for Stampin’ Up! Notecards and Envelopes….I truly love that size as they make a quick note a cinch…Please try to make one of these boxes…they are the “icing on the cake” and there is no doubt, they are a great finishing touch!

Here is the Blog Post that shows you how to make them…..and please do not hesitate to email me if you are stuck and/or have any questions….I do not think that you will as they are super east and the directions are very straight forward!

Here is the quick bullet points on the how to’s but again, check out my old post to see more details and pictures!

  • Old Olive Cardstock – 8″ X 11″
  • Score on the 8″side (shorter) at 2″ & 6″ I do use and suggest the Simply Scored Tool….I always think that leave a deeper impression than the trimmer…again, it is a basic tool that we all need and will use!
  • Turn Paper to the 11″ side (longer) and score at 4 1/2″ & 6 1/2″
  • Fold In and use Bone Folder to give a great crease
  • Cut in the scored lines (look at picture) and it really does help to taper in as shown (makes a much cleaner final product)
  • Use Tear & Tape as shown and fold in sides










The cute little sailboat came from Lawn Fawn and the set is called Smooth Sailing. I did the paper piecing technique and that is stamping onto the patterned paper and then cutting out the “sails and boats” and then adhering them into the boat! This is such a fun technique and one that I forget about doing but to me, this simple touch just made the POP of this sweet card!




Now – FINALLY to the Mini card kits…..To make it fair for everyone as when they are sold out…they are sold out but have no fear…I am lovin’ my new studio and I will continue to make more kits….making kits it totally my jam and I know that many of you like being able to sit down and put them together!

I will post the 3 new Mini Cards kits tomorrow, Tuesday the 21st at 11 a.m. so hopefully that will hit all time zones in a fair way. Set a timer or just pop on and see what I created – I think that they will make you smile!





Until tomorrow….have a wonderful day and let’s all have a GREAT week! I plan to as I am heading back up to Hagerstown tomorrow to see my sweet little grandson and to stock their refrigerator/freezer with some homemade love!



And the winners are…..and Envelope 411


Happy Wednesday, Thursday…well it is now FRIDAY and I hope that everyone is have a great week so far! It has been a fun yet busy week with lots of roller coaster rides….

My Dad fell on Mothers Day (well… as he said, I just lost my balance) and took the skin off of his leg and now I am putting a nurse cap on for that and also we had a DEMOLITION DAY to a wall in my teeny tiny Laundry Room….and the work on my craft area has been in full swing…

It was super exciting to see and this will not only make my Laundry bigger…we had a punched a door opening to another wall to give me access to sneak upstairs to my craft area! It had an entrance in from the garage but I thought…wouldn’t it be nice to just walk through…and PRESTO it can work (with a lot of imagination and persistence)

I have learned many lessons from this remodeling thing….PATIENCE and KINDNESS goes a LONG WAY with working together with the people that “really know” what they are doing….most of the time they just look at me and and scratch their head and say….well….IT CAN BE DONE BUT….(it’s that BUT WORD that always makes me a bit nervous)

The reality and moral of the story is….when Dad (John) is away…MOM (me!) and the PUPS (Rosie, Jack and Milo) can play! With me being here during the week…I am getting LOTS accomplished and when John rolls down with the truck and trailer…he just smiles and shakes his head!



It has just been exciting around here but one thing for sure it….it is DUSTY and I had to laugh the other day as someone walked into the house and I turned around and said – “Hi – who are you?” ….now meanwhile he had a mask on and I had a mask on…and he said “I’m the Cable Guy” and with that I busted out laughing as I thought I was in a reality sitcom show!!!

We need to get to the winners of those little pieces of gold to  “us papercrafters”…these are all 1/4″ strips of all of the cardstock that Stampin’ Up! has as remember when I made the “OH SO HANDY CARDSTOCK SWATCHES?”…well these are the leftover pieces from the cuts…and I can remember when I went into the printshop that did all of this massive cutting for me, the guy said….“we kept these for you in case you wanted them and if not we can throw them away for you!”

I thought…throw them away….HECK NO – these are like GOLD….so I am giving (2) of them away but trust me…I have probably about 4 more to give away and I will still have a stockpile for me!

I loved reading the comments and also the emails I received from people about how they have been passing the at home time….for me, I will say at the beginning I went on a Great British Bake Off bing watch as I sat an needlepointed (I have stitched 3 dog collars during this timeframe – getting a jump on Christmas gifts)…and then I also found myself getting hooked on old Andy Griffith Shows, Leave it to Beaver and MASH…

OK STAMPERS…..drum roll…..drum roll…….get ready to push back that chair and do that dance cause if you are JOYCE LODGE and MILLIE CRUM….you will be getting some Happy Mail from me!!!

Heck even if you are not these ladies…stand up and do a big stretch …..turn some music on and do a dance! I do this often but then I catch myself watching the dogs faces and I feel like they are saying, “MOM – what the heck are you doing?”






I have ALWAYS made my envelopes fun…WHY??? easy = My Mom always used to say that it is all about the 1st impressions and the 1st impression does not have to be expensive…it just needs to be genuine.

With that said I thought…I can make the envelope a HAPPY 1st impression for not only the sweet mail person that has to touch the mail…but for the recipient as well!

When Stampin’ Up! had the envelope liner dies I was ALL OVER THEM and when they discontinued them I thought – WHY??? That just seems silly (and I still feel that way) so I never parted with them but I had to develop some alternatives and hence the birth of my envelope love!

I get asked more about this SUPER SIMPLE METHOD than just about anything…and this is how I do it and I never have sticky fingers from the glue (as that just makes me grumpy)

As you have always heard me preach to that Stampin’ Choir…it’s all about the supplies and tools that you have to make this crafting process a fun and rewarding one and this is true for this process!

I believe that we need to have (3) widths of double sided tape. Stampin’ Up! Tear N Tape is a 1/4″ wide and that is great but for years I have also bought my tape in 1/2″ and also 1/8″ width. You can get it on Amazon or go right to the Scor Pal website and see the offerings. It is considerably less than the tear n tape and I always make sure that I have a full back up roll of each as this is a necessity to me!

I used to cut my DSP to 2″ X 6″ widths and then add a 1/4″ strip of complimentary cardstock and when I do this – I use the 1/8″ scor tape and then adhere the DSP with Green Glue…(This would yield 12 envelopes from 1 sheet of 12 X 12 paper!

Now….I have been finding myself cutting the DSP to 1 1/2″ X 6′ and then a 1/2″ strip and also a 1/4″ strip like you will see in the pictures below! Using this cutting method I can get 16 envelopes from 1 sheet of 12 X 12 paper!

When I was doing kits as a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator I was always thinking about how I can get the most use out of a pack of DSP and also this 1 1/2″ X 6″ method helps even more when you are working with a 6″ X 6″ paper pack!

Below is the final end result and the reason that I like my method is simple – it works for me and also when you hold the envelope you do not see any glue lines and all 3 pieces hold flat/together as 1! I sure hope that this all makes sense to you as I am trying my best to explain!



Below you will see the 3 sizes that I talked about above….the one in the middle is the tear n tape (1/4″) …all of these tapes have the same properties and ease of use….just figure out what you need and tear away! A roll will last you a LONG time but to me, it is just super important to have them on hand!



Below you will see that I put (2) pieces of the 1/2″ width before I add stripe #1 and stripe #2….you might be thinking…..SUSAN, WHY WOULDN’T YOU USE THE 1/2″ & the 1/4″ as that would fit the 2 pieces perfectly….well….YEP IT WOULD ….BUT (there’s that word again)

I like that extra tape to ANCHOR the top of the DSP DOWN (now who likes STICKY FINGERS…not me) and this way it also supports all of the foundation to have a beautiful and professional end product. To the remainder of this naked envelo

STOP and take a deep breath as I know this all sounds like a lot of work but it is not at all….to me, it has simply become part of the process of card making for me!

SunDance Graphics | Image Detail - 14092BD - Stop Breathe Smile

The Mini Kits that went out this week all had the paper pre cut for them to do this….and all future mini kits that I offer will be the same! I just love ENVELOPE LOVE!





Now to my SECRET WEAPON with Envelope Love….

Again, a firm believer of having the right tools to get the job done…and these scissors below are my “go-to’s” for cutting away the excess after I adhere the DSP….They are Tim Holtz scissors and they have a teflon coating on the inside which makes it a breeze to cut way the excess….and if there is any stickiness from the glue…NO BIGGIE because they are teflon.

You can find them at many of the big stores and also you can use a coupons for them…they come in 3 sizes and I like the largest ones for the job of envelopes as the blades are 9.5″ and you can do a clean sweep at one cut!



Below you can see the flip side and there is a wee bit of excess DSP hanging off…this is great as all you need to do is cut around and presto – DONE!

You can see that I always cut into the envelope…this way I know that the seal from the glue is all the way to the end…a perfect envelope!




Thanks for hanging in there with me…I just get so many people ask me how do I do my envelopes and so many of you do them a super hard way…..(tracing a pattern and then trying to cut it out)….or getting a bunch of glue at the top…

In closing I just had to share a cute picture and story of Rosie…she absolutely ADORES John and she has had a tough transition to him leaving during the week and now that there are “strangers wearing masks”…she is just beside herself with a hole in the wall…she finally was brave enough to put her top paws on it!

The next picture I adore as she is teeny tiny but oh so mighty around her brothers…she is sitting in her bed while she eats…always keeping an eye open for a brother to snitch her food!

I guess you could say that this is BREAKFAST IN BED!




Have a FABULOUS weekend and be safe and make a memory or two! In Maryland they are lifting many restrictions starting at 5 pm tonight…and I hope and pray that people are wise and continue to use good judgement!

I will pop back next week and hopefully make you smile….


BLOG CANDY…super useful!!!


Well…..HOWDY and HAPPY FRIDAY!!! I sure do hope that everyone had a great day as I sure did as Friday is the day that my sweet John comes down….I have to say….YOU ALL ARE GREAT….. (as Tony the Tiger would say!!!)

Many thanks for all of the comments and emails – WOW!!! I cannot wait to read each and everyone….darn, I do love the interaction with all of you!!!

As I have always said…I wish that there was an island that we all could be on together as there is just something special about people that are like you and I….it’s a great thing that we do!



I simply love creating cards that make me smile, inspire me and cards that I know will touch the heart of the recipient!

I simple LOVE to mass produce cards that touch my heart and I think that you can see….these do the trick! I have already sent out make of these cards to friends and they were all so touched and ALL SMILES! I just LOVE my envelopes as to me, it is the FIRST IMPRESSION that the recipient has when they get their mail!








I just LOVE being WILLY WONKA to you… here you go! Just leave me a comment from tonight until Monday morning sharing with me/us…


SHARE what you have been watching on TV….MOVIES….etc… during this lock down!


As for me….I have bought Disney +, HU LU….and I have had Netflix….as the news is just stressing me out and giving me anxiety!

I shared with Hannah as she has been giving me things to watch after the sun goes down – “this is getting expensive”.…but I have had some great laughs watching old movies!

This is what you will win….(I LOVE THESE and you will too) – A BIG BUNCH of perfectly cut 1/4″ strips of Stampin Up! Cardstock!  (PROBABLY OVER 100 Strips) – You can use them for cards like I did with the SMILE card or for envelopes….as I ALWAYS do!



To me, things like this are total lifesavers….and I know that you will love and appreciate these gems! Since I have so many strips…..I am giving 2 away so please leave me as many comments as you wish and then I will use RANDOM.COM  to pick the lucky 2 winners!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the warm and loving comments of being back on the blog! I hope that you are having a great night and I hope that you have a special weekend!

Stampin’ Hugs! — Susan



































A BIG Simple Stampin’ HELLO!


I hope that no one falls off of their chair….but it’s little old me popping in to say a BIG MARYLAND HELLO and catch up! I was actually scared if I would have remembered how to blog and trust me…my fingers and toes were crossed that Word Press remembered me and that my fingers would enjoy hen-peckin’ away!

Where in the world do I begin….(hmmmm – kinda sounds like a song!!!) First and foremost…I am fine….I am actually great in so many ways that I could just KICK MYSELF that I have not been hen-peckin’ away little by little so it is not so darn overwhelming!

Lots has been going on but it is all good and the best thing is that I DID NOT shut down my Blog as I truly realize how blessed I am to have so many that care and enjoy my silly ways of blogging…my creative yet simple card designs…my tips and tricks – and also my silly and fun stories of life and my love for animals!!

I am no longer a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator (it’s ok and YES – I am still stampin’ away) but I think that you know me well enough that stampin’ and crafting will ALWAYS be so near and dear to my heart. I do hope that this decision that I made will not make you leave my blog! (as that would just be silly as I do love to share, inspire and create)

I had so many wonderful years with Stampin’ Up!  and I made so many amazing friends (just like YOU) but I am so excited for this new chapter in my life. It was a hard decision to make but I will say that once I made the decision – I felt like it was the right thing for me!

There is SOOOOOO darn much to fill you in with and then once you see all of the pieces of the puzzle of my life coming together – you will see and hopefully say…..I am happy for Susan and I am glad that she is back!

Before we go any further I want to put this out there….loud and clear…I am NOT going to be affiliated with other companies and have affiliate links….I just wanna do what I love to do and that is….SHARE MY LOVE AND PASSION making clean and simple cards and inspiring you along the way!

I use so many different products from other companies (and always have) but you all know….the computer thing and I are not Peanut Butter and Jelly and I just want to keep things super simple and do what I love and what I do best….creating clean & simple cards and offer simple kits for you to create and send on to others to make them smile!

Just creating this blog post is a HUGE MILESTONE for me and I am hoping that this will kick start my energy to blog and have FUN with you all! I have soooo much BLOG CANDY to share and give away to you all….I just love to make you smile!

My years with Stampin’ Up! taught me so much and I would not have changed a thing as I truly am a happy person because of you all! When I reflected on what made me the most happy with Stampin’ Up! and what me me roll….these are the things that always came to my simple mind!!

  • My friendships made from my team and my blog…
  • My LOVE of designing and creating kits…
  • My LOVE for sharing and showing you tips & tricks to enhance this crafty fun…
  • My LOVE for doing Product Shares…
  • My LOVE for sharing stories of my wonderful PEEPS…sweet hubby…..and menagerie of animals!


The GREAT NEWS is…..that I can still do all of the above with the exception of Product Shares (but I still help team members if they need it) – I know that it is crazy but I truly loved doing Product Shares as I know how amazing that feeling is to get “the goods” in the mail! Heck, who doesn’t love happy mail!

So…..what does this mean? I am going to be doing some simple card kits but not like I have done in the past…..I am going to offer single card kits for you to be able to assemble. Some of you might have remembered in the Fall I did a WICKED Halloween Card kit and it was so well received!

My goal remains the same…to show you fun and clean ways to make a card that not only you will be proud of…but one that can be easily duplicated with other stamps and dies that you have!

I have shared this many times before but I truly believe that we are all so hard on ourselves and that many of us have a feeling of “I just can’t do that” and it is as simple as this….




My Mom was the most wonderful person in the whole wide world but I noticed as she was aging that her self confidence in herself  was not as strong…again, that makes me sad and I also can see this happen to me at times… I am here to say…..




What we need to do is so simple yet something that we all find that we need to remind ourselves (sometimes quite often)…. to be patience and not so hard on ourselves.

This is the MAIN reason I started making kits years ago….and trust me, it was a labor of love and many times I was told ….“are you crazy….why do you put so much time, love and hard work into them – you simply can’t be making money off of them”


I am a big believer in listening to your “gut instinct”


Here is what my heart always told me … – it is a passion within me to make sure that each and everyone feels positive and accomplishes something they set out to do….as WE CAN DO IT….and I know how it feels to not only accomplish something that you want to do but to also stand back and look at what you made.

In a nutshell….I get it – as I also can be in the same camp of – “WOW – that is great…..but I could not do that…” In so many ways I am a self taught – I love to watch YouTube Videos, I love to take as many classes as I can – I guess you can say that I am a big sponge that likes to soak up any techniques, tips & tricks that I can learn!

I love to be creative in many ways…that is one thing that WILL NEVER CHANGE!!!




In the Fall, John and I purchased a home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Our new home is very close to my Dad (actually about 3 miles away). This was a HUGE decision for us and one that we did not intend to do so quickly. It was as simple as this….the moon and the stars lined up as we found a place that we could easily see us grow old together ….continue to make memories together….and the rest is history…(well kind of) – We are trading the 30 acre farm life to a 2 acre peaceful water life.

Below is my view …it is just so peaceful.



I took several months of thinking and soul searching as to what I wanted and needed to do (with Stampin’ Up! & the whole moving thing) – and 1st thing was to figure out what to do with the animals!!! It’s not as easy as it seems as they are so near and dear to my heart and I needed to make sure that this was settled.

I am sure many of you are thinking….what about Daisy? Well….she is still at the farm but she will be moving down here to the shore and will have a new home with a friend that lives on a farm and I am just thrilled with that! We do have a contract on our farm but it has not settled yet so we are taking care of (2) yards for mowing and weeding but hopefully that will be settled soon!

I know you will all get a kick out of how we have been moving….YEP…with the HORSE TRAILER…works like a charm but we always giggle while we are going down the road as we feel like Sanford & Son!!!



I have been living on the shore ever since the terrible Virus outbreak. I do and pray that you all are safe and healthy. This is just an unreal time that we all are experiencing and I feel very blessed that I am here with my Dad. He has been great with only coming and going from his house to mine (he is getting antsy)

I have actually been a card making machine during this stay at home time and I have also been a weed picker machine….I have sent out more cards in the past 2 months  – I think that when I sit and create I realize how simple yet powerful a card is to make someone feel special and appreciated!

I have a NEW HELPER….my Dad – he is now helping making cards with me. He loves the Big Shot but he gets frustrated with the magnetic plates jumping around (sounds familiar??? we all have been there!!!)….it truly has been a blessing for him to have us move here and I have learned to appreciate and cherish that we are spending so much time together.Trust me, I think that I am being tested with my patience at times but I do know that I am blessed and it is times like this that I miss my Mom so much!  She would have just been over the moon to have us so close!





Besides our new home, the other FANTASTIC news I have is…..(drum-roll)…I AM GOING TO BE A GRANDMOTHER! I am so darn tootin’ excited as James and Ashleigh are expecting a firecracker of a boy…the due date is July 4th!!! WOOT-WOOT!!! I just cannot tell you how excited I am.

My Mom was a “GiGI” and I have BIG SHOES to fill as she was just the best Grandmother…..and you can see by the smile on my face…I am excited!!!




Back to the blog…Back to Stampin’…Back to simple kits!


Like I did before, I am going to offer single card kits for you to make up and assemble. They will be $4.00 each and they are totally on a 1st come first serve basis. When I post card offerings they will be ready to go OUT THE DAY I BLOG ABOUT THEM but I am only making up a limited quantity so once they are sold…they are gone until I create and make up a new batch of card offerings!

This 1st batch of card offerings (3 in total) are made with stamps/dies from other companies but ones that I know you will love as they are perfect for the times that we are all going through. I will always use Stampin’ Up! Heavyweight White Cardstock & envelopes and also SU paper as it is just the best with the color coordination etc….. I am just like you – excited to see the NEW catalog and once I see that…..perhaps I will design simple card kits with Stampin’ Up! goodies. We all know that I have TONS & TONS of Stampin’ Up! stuff!

I will post tomorrow with the offerings but remember, when they are sold through….they are sold through! I am in the process of creating a space for me to stamp in at the new house…but it is under construction. I am actually doing pretty good but it is a good thing John is not here during the week as it looks like a tornado hit as I have things here, there and EVERYWHERE! We often Facetime each other during the week as he goes on a search and rescue at the farm for something I cannot find here!

Below you will see the space that we are transforming into my piece of hobby heaven…I will be able to sneak upstairs and be lost…I am sooooo excited!





Thanks for hanging in there for this long post but I hope that you can also see that I am going to be doing some fun things with my blog besides card-making….I am going to share “life stuff” with you all to inspire you…and to also express myself from my little corner of the world!

I must say, it feels GREAT to do “other loves” that I have….cooking, gardening, needlepointing….yoga & long walks…we all know this, Life is a precious gift and one that we all need to nourish and be grateful for.

I will be back tomorrow with some BLOG CANDY and the reveal of the (3) super cute card kits…do you remember when I would do blog candy that I would ask great questions to get you all go down memory lane….well – that’s what we will do with my 1st post back!

Below is a little sneak peak of one of the cards….something I love to do and something will all need to so…..SMILE!!!!



Until tomorrow…..sleep well!