2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,200 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Recycling Calendars and Unused Notecards to Make Christmas Cards – Featuring Rubbermoon Art Stamps

It’s Christmas Card time! And it’s also that very sad time of year when I have to say goodbye to my wall calendar (yes, I still use a wall calendar). I am very choosy about my wall calendars. I like to choose calendars that inspire me visually – so naturally it’s a shame when the calendar has to be folded up and put away. There are times I’ve framed calendar pages because I love the art so much. But I’m running out of wall space, and it’s getting harder to figure out what to do with my precious calendars (and other calendars I’ve received through the year but never use).

So why not make Christmas cards out of them?

In this post I’m not only recycling old calendar pages, but also making use of old note cards I know I will probably never use. It’s very handy to refurbish these old note cards into something more interesting. They already have matching envelopes, which is also very handy.


So let me show you my process of making these recycled/refurbished cards to create really cool Christmas cards.

The only supplies you’ll need are:

  • Old calendar(s)
  • Note cards (blank inside is preferred) & matching envelopes
  • Double sided tape (or glue sticks)
  • Scissors
  • Faber Castell PITT Artist pens (or Sharpies)
  • Stamp ink pad
  • Rubbermoon stamp(s) to embellish the envelopes and blank inside area of cards. I used the New Moon and Angel stamps.
  • Various scrapbooking materials

This is a project that is easy to come back to over time. Set out the supplies at an unused table so you can keep coming back to it throughout the day/week and get little bits of time in here and there. Since there are no paints or glue used here, if you’re pulled away by some kid-related emergency, it won’t matter. You can return to your materials any time, using whatever snippets of time you can.


Step One: Trace the area of the calendar image you want to use on your note card. Always trace the area on the back side of image, not the front, so you won’t see pen lines after cutting. I simply find my area of interest by lifting the paper up to a ceiling light.

Step Two: Cut out your traced area – you can use scissors or an exacto knife if you prefer.

Step Three: Place double-sided tape or use glue stick on back of image to adhere to your card. Make sure the tape/glue goes as close to the edges as possible.

Step Four: Place the image carefully on your card and burnish it down with your fist or by placing paper on top of the page and using a flat object to burnish the area down (start in the middle and work your way out when burnishing).

Step Five: Apply Rubbermoon stamp and marker embellishments to inside of card and envelope. This lovely New Moon stamp seemed to match the feeling of the calendar art, so it seemed fitting to use it for the embellishments.

Step Six: I decided to use the art pen to write a simple “Christmas Blessings” message on the front image of the card to customize it a bit.


Step One: Go through your scrapbooking supplies to find papers and embellishments that work well as a theme. I used a vintage look to go with the crafty paper of the note cards I found. Used note cards that didn’t have a Christmas feel at all and dressed them up to give them a Christmas vintage look. I found some old vintage Santa embellishments and some metallic paper that would simply dress up the card.

Step Two: Since I wanted a crafty look, I tore the edges of the metallic paper. Then I used double stick tape again to adhere the Santa image and metallic paper pieces.

Step Three: I went on the computer to type and print out an appropriate verse/text for the front of the card, measuring the area first to be sure I used the right size. Then cut out the printed area and applied it to the front of the card.

Step Four: Apply Rubbermoon Stamp embellishment to envelope! I liked the angel for this one.

Celebrating and Encouraging Young Writers!

nano stats 2013I am on cloud nine today after presenting some girls in my daughter’s class with their much-deserved awards and certificates of participation for going through NaNoWriMo’s Young Writer’s Program. We had our own online virtual classroom on the YWP site where all the word count stats were kept, and I printed out our webpage for the teacher to post in the classroom.

I only had a 15-minute window of time, so I knew I couldn’t share every inspiring thought to the class, but at least I was able to promote the club and showcase the girls’ efforts, since ALL the writing they did for this club was on their OWN time, not for the classroom in any way.

What I really wanted to share with the group were my musings on how important it is to write.

You know the old phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!”… Well, not exactly true. Words can hurt more than sticks or stones. And the written word is IMMORTAL.

Words are POWERFUL. It isn’t important necessarily WHAT you write, I wanted to announce to the class.

It’s simply important that you WRITE.


Anne Frank

Suppose 15-year-old Anne Frank decided not to write merely because she was “just a kid” and “just writing in her diary.” Anne Frank is a huge inspiration to me, personally. A child writer who had a LOT to say, and shared it all intimately with her diary pages.


Rachel Joy Scott

And a more modern example is 17-year-old Rachel Scott who kept journals (some would call them premonitions). She was the first victim in the Columbine school shooting, and had a strong message of faith to share with the world. Her writings have been published in a few different books, one of which is Rachel’s Tears which I have at home.

As Cleveland author, Les Roberts, used to tell my creative writing class:

“Nobody else can tell your story.”

So, young writers, I urge you:


Because only YOU can tell it.