All posts by Kristie Strum

Let’s Make Time for Tea

It always seems to be that I buy stamp sets that I love, but don’t show them that love until I realize they’re going to retire. Do you have sets like that? One of mine is Time for Tea and its coordinating dies. I liked this set so much I also purchased the coordinating Tea Room Memories & More Card Pack and Tea Room Vinyl Stickers.

I’m a bit of a tea nerd and love trying new blends, so this set was a must-have. Current favorite tea? It’s a tough call because there are so many good ones in my collection, but the first one that popped into my head is Raspberry Beret from TeaSource.

(I’m still sad about what happened with Teavana, and my cupboard contains relatively large stashes of Monkey-Picked Oolong, Strawberry SlenderPu-ehr, and Mrs. Earl Grey that I have as an occasional treat until it runs out.)

The first card I made features a card and self-adhesive die cuts from the card pack and a vinyl sticker on the inside. This isn’t my “normal” sort of card, but I enjoyed how quickly it came together. It’s a little difficult to see, but I promise there’s some Copper Metallic Thread there.



The second card also has a card from the card pack since apparently I didn’t get around to ordering the Tea Room Speciality Designer Series Paper.



It Can Be So Hard to Say Goodbye

In just a few short weeks, we’ll have a new Stampin’ Up! annual catalog to be inspired by (I received a copy at a demonstrator-only event this past Saturday, and I can’t wait for you to see it too!). To make way for the new, however, we also have to let some things go. The list of retiring products was released today, which you can find here.

One retiring stamp set I’ve had fun creating with is Bloom by Bloom, part of a suite featured in the Occasions Catalog. The suite includes Designer Series Paper (DSP) and a Memories and More pack with bold and beautiful colors: Call Me Clover, Calypso Coral, Lovely Lipstick, Night of Navy, and Pineapple Punch. I wanted to see what other color combinations would look great with this set. And sometimes when there’s no DSP that works for what I want to do, I just create my own.

The first card uses Flirty Flamingo, Granny Apple Green, and Gorgeous Grape.

The second card uses Crushed Curry, Bermuda Bay, and Blackberry Bliss.

In creating these cards, I used Simply Scored, Stamping Sponges, and Stampin’ Dimensionals. The punch and stamp set I used for the sentiments were special items during Sale-a-Bration, but there are many other great options for both. The embellishments are Share What You Love Artisan Pearls, which are still available (and very pretty).

I have so many more things to share, so watch this space!

Return of the Demonstrator

Once in a while, you just have to do something for you. My day job is in public service. I also spend a lot of my time volunteering for the Minnesota Genealogical Society, and while I find the work important and worthwhile, it is work.

You may remember that back in the early days of this blog, I was an independent Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, from 2006 to 2012. The reasons I left made sense for my life at the time, but I’ve always missed it. I missed being able to preorder products, I missed the demonstrator exclusives, I missed the inspiration to design and create. This introverted person even missed the special national and regional events and the other socializing opportunities. I never stopped buying Stampin’ Up! products, but I used them less and less over time.

I have thought about rejoining many times over the years. I’m not sure why I didn’t. Part of it was certainly my frustration of having to start over as if the six years I spent didn’t happen, and the lingering sadness about having to make the decision to leave in the first place.

A month ago (January 19), I decided to get over it and signed back up. It’s a little weird to sign up under a friend I helped introduce to SU! back in the day, but I also seemed to have lucked out into a great upline group.

Most of my time over the past month has been spent getting my crafting space (some might call it my dining room) reorganized. I have been playing around with my stamps and supplies, but so far haven’t managed to quite produce a card I’m happy with.

I have though, also been working on a card kit I bought a while back (I’ll get back to that in a future post) and a couple of Paper Pumpkin kits. I’ve been subscribing for years, but have not been so great at actually creating items. I really love playing around with the items to see what else I can do, but for now, a few items completed more or less as presented in the kit. I really like to ink the edges of paper when they’re not layered onto another piece (and sometimes when they are), so that’s something you’ll see with these projects.

First, cards from the August 2018 Paper Pumpkin, Blissful Blooms. The colors that coordinate with this kit are Blackberry Bliss (the sentiments are stamped in this), Flirty Flamingo (I inked the edges of the labels with this), Lemon Lime Twist, and Old Olive. I used the stamp set that came with the kit to add a flower to each envelope, using Blackberry Bliss, Flirty Flamingo, and Pineapple Punch.

Images ©️ Stampin’ Up!
Images ©️ Stampin’ Up!

The January 2019 Paper Pumpkin, Be Mine Valentine, provided materials for adorable treat boxes. I plan to use most of the materials for other projects (in combination with the Animal Expedition Suite from the 2019-2019 annual catalog), but I did want to make one of each box. I sponged the edges of the Pool Party scalloped pieces a bit to bring out the stitched edge a little more, and of course inked around the edges of the white sentiments with Melon Mambo. The coordinating colors for this kit are Crumb Cake, Flirty Flamingo, Lemon Lime Twist, Melon Mambo, Petal Pink, and Pool Party.

Images ©️ Stampin’ Up!

More to come!

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon – Opening Meme

I’m a little late getting started this morning. but I want to make sure to do something now because my day is pretty full of things other than reading. I’m hoping to plan better for the next readathon in October.

Opening Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

I live in a northern suburb in the Twin Cities area, Minnesota.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

This is tough! I’ve had a lot of comments about Illuminae, so that’s one I have a bit higher expectations for.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Cookie dough (don’t worry – no eggs!).

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

Reading was my first hobby and will always be my favorite. I enjoy a lot of other things, like knitting, crocheting, creating handstamped cards, genealogy, but reading is the only thing I do every single day.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

This is my first. I’m looking forward to setting aside some time for reading that I don’t normally. I just wish I could set aside more! But I will be checking in with the Facebook group as much as I can. The social aspect is an unexpected part of the fun.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon

The other day I got wind of an upcoming readathon on April 23. Take the time to read for 24 hours straight? Count me in!


Of course I won’t actually read for the entire 24 hours. For me, the readathon will run from 7 AM Saturday to 7 AM Sunday. I have a couple of engagements Saturday afternoon and evening, and I will have to sleep for at least a while overnight. But other than that, no TV or movies, just books! And snacks. And beverages.

I will likely spend some time listening to an audiobook so I can get stuff like laundry done and maybe knit for a while.

Watch this space for more updates during the readathon!

Little Lion


I’ve really been falling down on my blogging goals, but I’m hoping to get back to it by at least posting some new cards I’m creating, and hopefully posting some older ones eventually too.

As always, I’m facing a continuing challenge in balancing all the things I want to do. This month I really wanted to finish a Tunisian crochet lace scarf I started quite a while ago, but it’s just not going to happen. But it’s okay, because I’m finding my paper mojo.

This 3″x3″ gift enclosure card was created on February 8, 2014, to enclose with a baby shower gift for a dear friend.

All supplies are Stampin’ Up!

Stamp set: Zoo Babies
Cardstock: Crushed Curry, Coastal Cabana, and Whisper White
Ink: Coastal Cabana, Crushed Curry
Retro Fresh This and That Designer Washi Tape
Tangerine Tango Candy Dot

2014 Goals

I’ve never been one to make resolutions just because a new year has begun, but to begin regaining some of the balance I’ve lost since starting a new job in July 2012, I decided to make a list of things I’d really like to do this year. This list is still a bit of a work in progress as I figure things out and/or remember things I forgot to include.


  1. Finish at least one WIP per month. This is going to tough, because most of my WIPs are a significant amount of work, but I’m tired of seeing so many unfinished things in my projects.
  2. Finish Umaro by the end of 2014. It can be included among the WIPs for #1, but will take time all throughout the year to finish. I need to get through approximately one skein a month.
  3. Make at least one item from my queue as it is at the end of 2013 per month.

Other Crafts

  1. Design at least one card per month.
  2. Finish my 2013 life book.
  3. Start and work on 2014 life book each month.
  4. Make my Christmas cards.
  5. Start my knit/crochet scrapbook.


  1. Read at least 48 books. This is up from my 2013 goal of 36 books, which I completed on December 30 (okay, two were short stories and at least a couple young reader chapter books, but that’s okay!). Reading was my primary love to suffer when I started knitting five years ago, and while I may never read 73 books in a year again like I did in 2008 (it was only 13 to 28 from 2009-2012), I’m working my way up to at least 60 per year.
  2. Clear out my “started but on hold” shelf on Goodreads. Some I can pick up where I left off, some I’ll need to start over, but I want that shelf gone by the end of 2014.


  1. Finish converting dining room into papercrafting studio. (Don’t worry, it’ll still function as a dining room, though it hardly matters.)
  2. Get my house to a state where it’s not a massive undertaking to have a few friends over or cause me stress just thinking about having to have a service person in my house. I’d like to do this by the end of January so I can start having knitting pals over (our yarn shop closed over a year ago, and while coffee shops work sometimes, it’s not ideal to me).
  3. Maintain #2.
  4. Get the new kitchen faucet my parents gave me months ago installed.

Health and Fitness

  1. Work up to 10,000 steps per day by the end of 2014. My new Fitbit tells me I usually get in 4,000-5,000 steps on a workday. The first challenge will be figuring out how to get in that many steps on a non-workday, especially in the winter (as I write this it’s -6 degrees F and snowing). Second will be working up to 10,000 steps every day by the end of the year. This goal will likely be modified as I start figuring it out.
  2. Use a fitness game on my Wii or Xbox 360 at least once per week.


Special rules: My immediate family doesn’t count, but extended family does since I don’t see them much. Attending group events I didn’t plan (such as a friend’s kid’s birthday party) doesn’t count.

  1. In January-March, make and keep plans with a friend at least once per month.
  2. In April-June, make and keep plans with a friend at least once every three weeks.
  3. In July-September, make and keep plans with a friend at least once every two weeks.
  4. In October-December, make and keep plans with a friend at least once a week.


  1. Take a real vacation. A trip to visit family (unless it’s my cousin Jen in Atlanta, maybe) doesn’t count. A trip to a genealogy conference doesn’t count. I’ve already put money down to hold a place at Squam in June, so really, I just hope I can somehow come up with the money to pay the rest and for travel expenses.


  1. Post to my genealogy blog once a week. This also means I have to do something worth blogging about.
  2. Post to this blog once a week. I’m already doing stuff, like crafting and living life; I just need to post photos and write about it.