You might remember a while back I mentioned I was doing this swap. Well, I did it, and the time has come to talk about it!

First, let me tell you about my Swap Partner! The poor girl lives in Ohio and was RIGHT in the path of Hurricane Ike which was RIGHT before we were supposed to send out these swaps. She was out of power for an entire week. (As many others were.) And after that, she was just so swamped with getting back to life as normal that the Halloween Swap sort of went on the back burner. If you ask me, that is more than a little understandable. The point here is that I do not have it yet, so I cannot rave as I properly should. It will probably arrive tomorrow when this post goes up, but I will be half-way to Missouri by then and not able to see it for a week.

But she sent me pictures, and I think I can adequately rave from those, though I know it will be better when they arrive.

These are the packages she sent to me. OOOOOOOO, it makes me want to tear right in and rip them open! I love tissue paper tied with ribbon! (I must also say that I did not send my package so cutely wrapped. I will show you what I sent later, but there is no picture of wrapping because I was more than a little, uh, not impressed with how I did it!)

This is the whole pile of stuff. You must know that I LOVE Halloween. It might be my favorite holiday. I love the weather at Halloween. I love the moon at this time of year. I love the festivity. I have never thought of it as evil or scary, just festive and fun. So this pile of stuff makes me giddy!

Here are some close-ups. The first is a box of wrapped Hersheys Nuggets. I LOVE it that Angela is a stamper like me because just knowing what this is, I know it is SO cool. Her style and taste are much different than mine, and she is more artistic. From the picture I can tell these are beautiful. Unfortunately, they probably will not last very long under my care, but at least there is a picture by which to remember them! And they are in a very cute tin, which makes it even better.

This one is a paper bag Halloween Journal. Do you love it? I do! I LOVE black cats. That really has nothing to do with Halloween, but I currently have two black cats and had another before these. This is just TOO cute! Maybe I can fill it with pictures of my black cats? Or maybe my children? I do not know. I will probably just use it as a decoration for a while. It is definitely worthy of doing that.

I think this one might be my favorite. It is a collage just for the sake of art. I. LOVE. IT! And the girl on it has red hair which is icing.

The last one is something she said EVERYONE needs… a pooping cat. Is that hilarious?! I think so. I have never seen such a thing. (But I never shop which could possibly be part of that problem.) It being a black cat and all is good enough, but there appears to be candy (poop–I just will not think about that) attached, so it is even better!

Here is what I made for her.

This cookie jar was SOOOOO easy; it took about 5 minutes which put me into a mood of guilt over it. I used a Decor Elements piece from St*mpin’ Up! to do it. When I sent it to her, I put a ribbons on the lid. I apologize that I did not send hers with cookies, but I was using it as a display for an Open House when I made it about a month before I shipped it. Unfortunately I ate all the cookies before then. Yes, I think I ate every single one. No, a few customers ate some, but they were polite. I am not so polite when it comes to cookies. You MUST go to Angela’s blog to see how she is using this cookie jar. (She also has a better picture there than I do of the other item I sent.) I love what she did! I would have never thought of it on my own.

The other thing I made was this “Spooky” banner. These are wonderful. I used a special pennant die for the St*mpin’ Up!/Sizzix Big Shot machine to cut the pennants. This was so. much. fun to make! It took quite a lot more than five minutes to make, so my guilt was significantly eased. (I could not get the “Y” to show up, so I just left it out. I am too tired and have to drive all day tomorrow to try to figure out what the problem is.)






































Heidi at Foxgloves, Fabric and Folly!! is hosting another swap for Christmas. Go check it out. I am sure it will be just as much fun!

letterboxing bag

letterboxing bag

Seems like lately I am starting my posts with something other than the title suggests, but I’ll get to that.

After my last post someone asked if I would show the supplies we take with us when hunting for letterboxes.  So that is what you see above.  We put it all in the orange bag so it is easy to carry (and also fits an extra camera lens).  The two ink pads leaning against the bag are the ones Prince Charming and I  use for our personal stamps.  (You can click on the photo to enlarge it.) My personal stamp is standing up, with the frog on it (Potted Frog).  Prince Charming’s has the rubber side up.  The plastic bag on the upper right is wet paper towels to clean the stamps when we are finished at a box.  Below that is a pile of log books.  Mine is open to show a page (true letterboxers are probably gasping at that.  So many on one page!  I’m just like that; I can’t help it!)  We just use sketch pads for our logbooks right now (and Chic and Chicklet’s are decorated so there will NEVER be a question as to who owns which!)  Lots of people use very nice hardcover journals, but I have not wanted to splurge in that area, although stamping in them might be a tiny bit easier.  And you can see the stamps are not “girly.”  Men can get into this as much as women!  To the left of the logbooks is the compass.  Not all boxes have clues with compass headings, but some do, and sometimes it is necessary to have one.  To the left of the compass are the markers we use for the letterbox stamps.  I like having several colors because one never knows what kind of stamp will be in the box.  Often they are nature-related which are typically browns, greens and greys, but they can be anything, so I like to have plenty of ink colors.  We color on the stamps with the markers so we can have more than one color on the stamp if we wish.  I love using the markers for letterboxing. If I had that many colors of ink pads it would be more expensive, heavier and take up more space.  No, you can’t use just any markers, but there are markers made for rubber stamps.


Tonight I am having a Stamp-A-Stack at my house.  Monthly I have some sort of stamping class at my house, and for September, it is a Stamp-A-Stack.  For ME that means that guests (customers) will come and stamp 15 cards.  There are five designs, and they will make three of each design.  This is probably my most popular type of class because often when people make a card (or whatever we stamp), they like to keep it for a particular reason (have the idea for future reference, too pretty to give away, etc.).  But with a Stamp-A-Stack, they go home with THREE cards of the SAME design, so they can keep one and give two away!  (Or for the more practical ones, they can give three away.)

When people arrive they will receive a bag with all of their cardstock supplies.   These will be cut for each project.  Guests love coming to my house for these classes because I do all the prep work for them. 

Then guests will split up and go to different areas staged for each card.  There are supposed to be 11 guests tonight, and there are five cards to make, so there will be two or three people at each station at a time.  (Most of the photos in this post will enlarge when clicked.)









Here’s an up-close look at what they will be making.  Do you love them?  I copied (in great or small degrees) all of them but one.  I wonder if you can guess which one is original?  Probably not, unless you know me fairly well.  I am sure some of the customers will guess.

Are you wondering where the fifth card is?  It was a straight-copy, so you can just look here to see it up close. (While you’re there, you might want to look at some of her other stuff.  She’s an amazing stamper.)  And while I am talking about that, one of the cards I mostly copied from here.  She has some awesome stuff, too.

So that is what I will be doing when this post goes up.  And in case you think I am too on-the-ball that this stuff is already set up, well….  I have to leave in ten minutes to pick up Chic from school.  Then we have to run some errands.  Then she has gymnastics.  I will get home 30 minutes before this class starts, so everything has to be ready before I leave.  And I wanted to post today, but obviously the class had to come first, so I had to get it done and set up.  If I did not have all the other stuff to do, I promise that I would not be set up until 6:20ish.

I hope YOU are doing something fun tonight, too!

Each weekend David McMahon at Authorblog asks a question and asks reading readers to answer it on their own blogs. This week’s post is here.

The question is: As a child, were you afraid of the dark?

The answer for me is a resounding, “Yes!” As I child, I had three major fears; I will address two of them in this post, including the one about dark.

The dark terrified me. I cannot explain why that was. It was not exactly monsters, but there was something out there. I remember seeing black images on my ceiling when I was quite young, too young to remember much at all. My parents said I was like that from the beginning. I was not afraid all the time, just when I saw whatever it was. And I do not know if those things were “real” or in my imagination, but they terrified me enough to assure that I would be afraid of the dark for a long, long time. I do not remember seeing the apparitions past age three or four, but the memory of that could still bring just as much fear to me during dark nights .

Paired with this was my fear of loud noise. Both of my parents drove in drag races on the weekends. This was also when I was extremely young, so I do not remember much about it except that I believe they were both pretty good. And there was a car there, The Green Monster, that was so loud it ALWAYS made me scream and cry from fear. I would be in the stands with aunts and uncles who would cover my ears and hold me tight.

Those two fears together joined to make me an absolute mess when we had thunderstorms at night. I remember starting at about age seven, going into my parents’ room, terror-stricken, when thunderstorms screamed into my sleep. It got to the point that when I arrived, the covers would be lifted up for me so I could snuggle safely in from the din in the dark. I do not remember when I stopped doing this.

What I find somewhat interesting about these particular childhood fears is that I overcame both of them with no effort on my part. I will admit still having a little fear of the dark at times, but only because I am mindful enough to know what could be lurking out there in certain, unlit areas. Most of the time I welcome the dark. The stars are friendly. The moon is soothing. The night is peaceful. Nocturnal air has its own quality that simply feels good brushing against my skin. The sounds of night are like a lullaby. The smell of night is pure.

As I embrace night, I also relish some loud noises. I would love the hunt down “The Green Monster” and just hear it. I love when fighter jets fly over our house because they are so loud. I adore thunder! The culmination of darkness and loud in a nighttime thunderstom brings electric excitement to ever fiber of me.

So yes, I was afraid of the dark as a child. And yes, it can make me uneasy now. But most of the time I love it.


Since this post was about dark, I thought I would share something here I am doing through another blog that relates to Halloween!

Heidi Ann at Foxgloves, Fabric and Folly is hosting a “Very Vintage Halloween Swap.” (Don’t you love the name of her blog, and doesn’t the swap sound intriguing?) OK, I realize that a lot the people who read this blog may not think that sounds intriguing at all, but some of you will. And for the rest, sorry, but possibly your wife, girlfriend, sister, aunt, cousin would think it is wonderful. Anyway, you can go here to sign up (leave a comment to do so) by August 25, and Heidi Ann will pair up people to swap something for Halloween. I am so excited about this! I have two things in my head that I want to make. I cannot decide, so maybe I will do both. It will be so much fun! So if this intrigues you as much as it does me, head on over there to sign up! (And you do not have to make something. You can buy it instead if you would like.) I’ll be showing you what I made (and what I received) on October 1 right here.


By Louise Cannon