Monthly Archives: January 2018

Otter Card

While flipping through my scrap paper pile, I came across this page out of a magazine that someone sent me. It was a lot bigger than 4.25×5.5, (my usual card size), so I wasn’t sure how well it’d trim down.

I’m really happy that it did trim down just fine :-). Isn’t he cute?!



Splitting the paper (2 cards)

One of my favorite ways to be instantly inspired to make a card is by doing a “one sheet wonder” challenge (where you cut a piece of 8.5×11 or 12×12 patterned paper into various sized pieces).

These cards weren’t specifically from a one sheet wonder, but I did get the idea to cut the pieces in half this way from that kind of challenge.

The pink-ish paper is one that was given to me in a swap (it’s hand colored and embossed).

I love the juxtaposition of the really bold background papers and the very vintage/muted styling of these Tim Holtz die-cuts.



By the way…The shadows underneath the dress-form are real. You’ve seen cards I’ve made where I’ve only glued down the center and rolled up the edges of the die-cut to give it dimension. This one is essentially in this style, but it wasn’t done on purpose.

You see, the die-cut had fallen on the floor at some point and I rolled over it with my chair (on carpet). It was practically boat-shaped, but neither torn nor dirty. So, I glued her down and I’m thrilled with the result! Waste not, want not :-).

Since the Simon Says Stamp challenge for this week’s Monday Challenge is “Birds of a Feather”, I’ll be submitting the second of these cards there.

I really enjoy looking through the submissions to these uber-popular challenges and seeing submissions made to look specifically for multiples (such as the MFT sketch with the SSS theme). If I were better at planning, I’d totally do this, but my reality is that I’m working with a lot of really random bits and bobs and I’m lucky if I can find the right stuff to make a card that works for a single challenge. In this specific case, I made the cards without any thought to the challenges running and it was all luck that I made a card that fits it :-). And I’m very cool with that, haha.

By the way, don’t forget that my Giveaway is still open until Jan 31, 2018!

Also, I’m starting to think about which 3 cards I’ve made in January to offer for my February Giveaway, so leave a comment if you have a favorite!

MFT Sketch #368


After 2 weeks of school work where I wasn’t sure which way my head was going, I decided to take a solid Saturday to myself. The cards I made today were either inspired by this week’s My Favorite Things Sketch Challenge #368 or were the result of me sorting through my scraps bin. I’m quite happy with the results :-).

Here is my first card, the one most directly inspired by the challenge:


This image is from one of the random sets of Tim Holtz die-cuts I got via a swap or act of kindness. It’s amazing what adding just a tiny bit of a frame with the dark paper behind the image does.


Quote from “Mistletoe Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery Series Book 1)” by Leslie Meier –

“I don’t want to be like him. I make mistakes, but they’re not the same ones he made. If Toby strikes out, I tell him he looked good up there. I tell him even Pete Rose strikes out. I tell him he’ll get a piece of it next time.”–Lucy’s Husband

I have a pretty good nose for years. In my last post I suspected this book was set in the mid-80s. Well, Pete Rose got banned from baseball in 1989 for gambling. I highly doubt many dad’s alluded to Rose after the ban.

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Quote from “Mistletoe Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery Series Book 1)” by Leslie Meier –

She had always found the elder Mr. Stone intimidating. She would never forget the first time she had met him. She had been terribly nervous and as Bill’s fiancee had wanted to make a good impression. She hadn’t known what to say when Mr. Stone suggested that she escort Brother, Mrs. Stone’s retarded brother, to the bathroom. She could still remember the blood rushing to her face as she stammered out an excuse, and Bill had rushed to her rescue, leading Brother out of the room. That meant she was left alone with Mr. Stone, who’d muttered something and left the room, too.

So, I’m having a lot of trouble figuring out what year this is set in. I think it was published in 2008, but all the direct references to a point in time are of the 70s and since her oldest child is 10, this would make it the mid 80s at the very latest, which doesn’t quite mesh with her and the rest of the girls using personal computers to take orders. It’s possible, but for some reason it’s just not jiving for me.

But, in any case, I can see where her father-in-law could be this flavor of ass in any time frame.

The problem, again, is that Lucy never turns to face the camera and explain that she does not condone her F-I-L’s behavior.

Lucy is supposed to be some idealistic hippy who eats tofu and brown rice so much that McDonald’s turns her kids into hellions. But she’s easily intimidated by strong men and won’t even stand up for her values  quietly to herself. I can get over the fact that she doesn’t make a stand for justice out loud, but this is a novel where we can read her thoughts and her thoughts are embarrassed, but not indignant.

That’s a big problem.

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The Turpins – This is What Homeschooling to Hide Abuse Look Like

One of the things that my conservative relatives say about stuff like Stop and Frisk is that (black) people shouldn’t mind police checking on them if they have nothing to hide.

Of course, there’s a big difference between driving while black and parents not wanting a social worker to see that their children are emaciated and aren’t educated on grade level. One is racism on the part of society and the other is society turning ablind eye on abuse in the name of…what…freedom? Independence? Religion?

State tests are the BARE MINIMUM that a student should know at their age. They are an absolute joke for any AP student. Which means that they should also be a joke to any homeschooling parent worth their salt. Any homeschooling parent who refuses such tests should be suspected because it means that they are uncomfortable with their child’s education so far. A teacher who is equally uncertain about their students’ performance on these tests should also be suspected.

And yes, I am in school to become a teacher. If I’m ever uncertain that my students will pass these tests, I will take a good long look at my career choice.

Homeschooling students should have to take these tests yearly in person at some kind of government facility.  Hell! The DMV would work! Just some place where a trained set of eyes can see whether the children are being neglected or abused. Guess what? If the parent doesn’t have anything to worry about, they shouldn’t oppose in person testing. It’d be no different from routine checkups and dental appointments.

There is npo boogeyman. There is not conspiracy to place all children in foster care. But honestly, if this is your fear, you need help.

There’s NOTHING inherently wrong with homeschooling! But it is all too easily a vector for abuse and neglect.

How to tell that a person should not own a gun:

I thought of you when I read this quote from “Mistletoe Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery Series Book 1)” by Leslie Meier –

“Is that a real gun?” asked one of the boys.
“It sure is. It’s a police-issue nine-millimeter Smith and Wesson,” he answered, drawing the revolver from its holster. Lucy eyed the gun distrustfully. “Don’t worry, Lucy. I made sure the safety’s on.”

 Culpepper held the gun out in the flat of his hand for the boys to admire, then twirled it around his finger a few times before replacing it at his side.”

This is police officer Culpepper shortly after bitching that State Police won’t involve the local clips imn the investigation.

I’m not going to lie. One of the quickest ways to make me dislike an author is when they create incompetent cops. I read to escape real life and in a perfect world, the cops are damn good at their jobs and aren’t arrogant morons who think a badges and a gun makes them powerful.

Culpepper was okay until he decided to become John Wayne and show off. 

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Trump Supporter

Quote from “Mistletoe Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery Series Book 1)” by Leslie Meier –

“This evil person” —and here the minister paused before hissing—“this sinner, must have come from outside our town. 

“Every night the evening news tells us of the violence that pervades the cities of our country, of international syndicates dealing in drugs and death, and of political terrorism. 

“This is the lesson of Sam Miller’s death. We must fight the evil that is overtaking so much of the world, and we must keep our town as a good place to let our love for each other shine as a beacon of light in an ever-darkening world. Amen.”

This was the end of the Eulogy given by the pastor.

The brother looked disgusted. The wife was wearing a veil so we couldn’t see her face.

Lucy pretty much shrugged and said “could be” after bringing up the idea that the brother is the killer and having it be shot down because he’s a good guy. And making fun of the wife’s preference for less than sensible shoes and clothes. 

By the way, I’d totally wear a veil! I wouldn’t want people looking at me.

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Character Introductions

Quote from “Mistletoe Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery Series Book 1)” by Leslie Meier –

“Homosexuality was not an approved life-style in Tinker’s Cove.”

I’m not very far into this new-to-me cozy mystery series. Most of the main characters are still being introduced, and since the murder has already taken place, of course, other characters are speculating on the obvious suspects: the wife and the brother.

I personally judge characters based on how they talk about other people, especially people they don’t like. It’s how I judge people in real life, too. It said a lot to me that my husband has always been factual, but never catty, about his ex-wives. 

So far, Lucy and her friends come across as bitchy gossips. 

I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt about the wife when they described her as a pretentious snob for rejecting an invitation to the Friends of the Library because I’m an introvert and these women are obviously extroverts who don’t believe introverts are a thing. Not being social is a sin in their book. I figured that with a bit of time and real exposure to the wife, they’d revise their opinion of her. This was merely the author giving her characters room to grow as people. That’s okay!

Then we get introduced to the brother and how he doesn’t live up to his brother’s “golden boy” status. He’s not a show off, he’s a “mama’s boy”, he goes to theater productions, he collects stamps, he’s not Ken Doll handsome, and, gasp! He might be gay because he doesn’t have a public girlfriend.

Which leads me back to the quote I shared above: 

“Homosexuality was not an approved life-style in Tinker’s Cove.”

Now, again, this could be the author’s way of giving her characters room to grow. It could be a red herring meant to subtlety call out any homophobic readers who hvw decided that the brother is guilty because he checks all the boxes on the “what a murderer looks like” list according to small town, USA.

McCarthyism at it’s finest.

But this doesn’t sit right with me.

I’m all in favor of subtle snubs at the homophobic and racist status quo. But, while most people who call out their hometown for being homophobic or racist will say soomething as blatant as “Homosexuality was not an approved life-style in Tinker’s Cove”, they will usually emphasize it by making it it’s own paragraph, the literary equivalent of standing in the center of main street to voice it. Then they will immediately make some kind of statement that definitively shows that they are against homophobia. Period.

Instead, this sentence sits at then end of a paragraph that lists all of the brother’s “faults”. Being gay is just another one. He’s the jealous brother because he’s ugly and not a real man because he likes theater, stamps, and potentially other men as sexual partners. He’s the murderer because he’s different. 

Then she changes the subject.

Like I said, Lucy is a bitch. She fits every stereotype of small town, small mind that I can think of. I’ll give this book it’s fair share and finish it, but a lot of crow will need to be eaten for me to read the next one.

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