Handmade Cards: Night Sky and Stars

Saturday, September 11, 2021

This weekend's handmade card is all about night sky and stars. It's an easy background that's versatile. What I love about this style is the color scheme: the dark blue makes almost any other bright color pop thus it's perfect for lively scenes.

Easy starry night background for cardmaking

I decided to use my old Love Cynthia stamps for this theme. The first 2, I created a dreamy scene using the girl from Find A Reason To Smile stamp set, except that I cut out the lollipop she's holding and placed her on an interactive swing hanging by a cloud.

Love Cynthia stamps for starry night background cards

I used a cloud die cut for the upper and bottom part and stuck them onto the front panel with a foam adhesive for dimension. The strings of the swing were stuck behind the clouds and the foam adhesive allows the swing to move a bit.

Here are 2 versions of the card with the same format:

Love Cynthia stamps for starry night background cards

Love Cynthia has a stamp set with an image of a girl on a swing and that would be perfect for this theme. The stamp set is called Be Awesome Today, but I think any Love Cynthia Happy Girl image would work well because they're all too cute!

For the other card, I decided to make a friendship one. I was just reminded of the really nice quote about friendship and stars:

Good friends are like stars. You don't always see them but you know they're always there.

 

Love Cynthia stamps for starry night background cards about friendship

This stamp set is called I'm Always Here For You and this image is perfect for this setting. The sentiment is also from the same stamp set. I chose the sentiment because the girls give me the impression of 2 besties feeling blessed to have each other's company.

Love Cynthia stamps for starry night background cards about friendship

Now the secret behind these glittery stars is that they were made from recycled party banners 😁 When my baby turned 1, we had a mermaid themed party for her. One of the party decors I used was this silver bunting banner and you could see it in one of the pictures on my previous post about my baby's birthday party celebrations.

Use recycled bunting banner to make glittery stars

After the party, the bunting banner was unscathed and I decided to keep it. It hasn't been used for the next parties because it didn't fit the themes. While I was decluttering one time, it just hit me that I could use the glittery bunting banner for stars and these cards were created.

Easy starry night background for cardmaking

As for the decluttering, it had to be finished at a later time hahaha 😂

This design is very easy to make, just like with all my cards. I just used a midnight blue cardstock and blended some black ink around the edges with an oval make-up brush. Then I glued on different sized stars. 

The big ones were punched out from the bunting banner while the smaller ones were from a glitter-shaker set I bought from Kmart a while back. I then added some speckles of white poster paint and also some rhinestone embellishments to complete the starry night effect.

Easy starry night background for cardmaking

It was fun to make these cards and here's another one I created for our anniversary back in April which also happens to be my toddler's birthday.

Interactive double-slider anniversary Over The Moon For You card

I decided to step it up a bit with this one so I created an interactive double-slider card using the same starry background. Up front, it just looks like a simple moon in the sky with clouds and stars. 

Interactive double-slider anniversary Over The Moon For You card

But once you pull out the tab at the bottom, this cow with dreamy face pops out. Indeed, so over the moon for my hubby, my best frenemy! 😍 The cow is an image from the Over The Moon stamp set, which is a retired stamp set from Stampin' Up!

Interactive double-slider anniversary Over The Moon For You card

And that's it for now, my handmade cards using the starry-night background using a recycled bunting banner!

Starry night background for cardmaking

Do you want to join my happy mail list? Head over to this page and be part of my Hugs in a Card mission! 

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Hello September!

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

They say no winter lasts forever and today just marks that. Spring time again here down under! Not that I hated winter. To be honest, I really enjoyed this year's winter season, lock down and all. 

We were supposed to go to a snow trip in July with family friends but that's got cancelled because the COVID cases increased again from the end of June. Today, we have about 1000 plus cases in a day. 

The lock down brought changes in the community and has affected business and individuals alike. Our job has changed too. I am not doing compliance at the moment and I find our current work tasks to be overwhelming for my introvert self. 

Yes, I am an introvert to a fault. There are times (extreme times) when I want ZERO human interaction. Not even from my family. But don't worry, I'm not a loner as I may sound to be. Just an hour or so to be alone and in touch with myself is all I need to recharge. 

I don't know why but over the years I figured out that ALONE time is a necessity for me and lately, because of too much interaction at work, I find myself needing this ALONE time much more that I usually do.

So yes, winter had been very challenging but I'm not lying when I said I enjoyed this year's season. Firstly, our new house gets a lot of sun and it keeps my working area very warm in the day. Really thankful to have moved to this house. Winter used to be a torture for my tropical self but it's much more than bearable now.

Next, I was able to make lots of winter cards and that's what I wanted to share in my post here today. It's a day late, I know, but August had been very busy at work. Anyway, I don't want to dwell on that. I don't want to seem ungrateful for having a job amidst this crisis. But sometimes, you just have to address the stress factors too. No to toxic positivity!

Anyway, if you want to see my previous winter cards, you can view the June ones and July ones by clicking on the link. Here are the ones I have subsequently made:

Winter themed handmade card cozy wishes from our house to yours

This unbranded stamp set has some really great sentiments but I used a different one for a homey and cozy feeling, which is what I would want the recipient to get when she sees this (whoever she might be 😉).

Hello Bluebird Cocoa Party Stamp Set & Birch Tree Die Cuts
Feat Hello Bluebird Cocoa Party Stamp Set and Birch Tree Die Cuts

Hello Bluebird O Christmas Tree Stamp Set and Birch Tree Die Cut
Feat Hello Bluebird O Christmas Tree Stamp Set and Birch Tree Die Cuts

Then I decided to put the Birch Tree Die Cuts to use by creating these cards with a simple layout - just a midnight blue cardstock with snow falling in the background. I used a chalk pen for the snow fall and a white glitter foam sheet for the snowy ground. 

I wanted these cards' theme to be cherishing friendships and life's simple moments. Because really, in the middle of all the crises that's happening all over the world, family, friends and the everyday moments we have with them are the most valuable things we can hold on to for now.

Next, I decided to pull out my window die cut again and coupled it with Stampin' Up!'s Pine Wood Plank Embossing folder to create this luminary tea light cards. 

Luminary LED tea light cards - cozy windows
The cards open into a box structure and when you put the LED tealight inside, the houses glow as if from the fireplace inside 😍 I really love how cozy they look especially when you use them in the dark.

Luminary LED tea light cards - cozy windows with charms

The cards fold into a card that fits perfectly into a C6 envelope, so it's not a hassle sending them to friends. Only trouble is, they'll have to use their own LED tealight candles which are very cheap and can be bought anywhere from Kmart to Asian stores, etc.

Luminary LED tea light cards - cozy windows with charms

Finally, I am also sharing my daughter's creation. I'm really proud that she gave cardmaking a go out of the blue and came up with this original idea.

A winter-themed shaker card with cozy wishes from our house to yours! And because a photo won't do it justice, I am uploading a video of the card below.

And there you have it, all of our winter themed cards for this year's season. I hope you enjoyed all of them and if you wish to be part of my happy mail recipients, you know the drill. If you're new to this blog, please read about my Hugs in a Card mission.

August 2021 Happy Mail for Hugs in a Card project
August 2021 Happy Mail for Hugs in a Card project

Wishing you all a happy spring here from down under or happy autumn if you're in the west or just a happy any-season wherever you are in the world 💗



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July 2021 Happy Mail!

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

It's almost the end of the month and I'm excited to announce our 4 happy mail recipients for July 2021!

  • Sis Cherielynne Rae
  • Sis Nilda 
  • Sis Cecil
  • Rosemarie

And because it's the end of financial year here in Australia, I'm also giving them some gifts - some of my favourite Atomy products - for being my beloved repeat and loyal customers/members. 😍 

Thanks to my lovely friends for your support 😊

It's still winter here and while our snow trip had been cancelled due to lockdown, I make myself occupied with reading books/listening to audiobooks, crafting, and some wellness activities like exercising and skin care. I will be sharing some of the books and audiobooks I have finished soon as well as the minimalist skin care I have established for myself. 😌

Meanwhile, here are some my card creations for this month - additions to my #hugsinacard mission!

Stampin' Up! From Our House To Yours simple handmade card
Inspired by my last winter mail art

If these cards look familiar to you, that's because they are hehehe. I created them based on my last winter mail art which was an idea given to me by my dear mom-friend, Eli. Thanks momshie!

These cards were made using only stamps, and this one in particular was from Stampin' Up!'s stamp set called From Our House To Yours.

Using Wink of Stella Clear Glitter brush, I added glitters to the house roofs, hearts and snowflakes and this is how they look up close:

Stampin' Up! From Our House To Yours simple handmade card

Stampin' Up! From Our House To Yours simple handmade card

Because they were easier to make, I made 7 cards in one go hehehe. I used a stamping tool for the houses, made the job a whole lot quicker.

The next card I'm going to show you is a little bit more tedious to make. This one is already reserved for a certain friend who is also a June baby and we previously worked in the same team. We haven't seen each other for more than a year since covid but we are just as close as sisters. 💗

MFT you are mermazing shaker card
A mermaid shaker card!

I tried to steer away from winter this time hahaha! It's a shaker card and I used a combination of pinks, greens, purples (and orange for the hair and fishes) for a more colourful effect.

And here is a video of the card in actual 😀

And that's all from me... hope everyone is keeping safe wherever you are! 💗 See you in my next posts.

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Surprise for my parents' 44th wedding anniversary

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

I don't want to let this month pass without writing about this. Because of all the things that happened to me in June, the good, the bad and those in between, this event is what I am most thankful for: my parents' 44th wedding anniversary.

First, of course, I am thankful to God. Second, I am thankful to my parents. Not all the days leading up this anniversary have been spent purely on love, not everyday was blissful and beautiful. Nevertheless, I am grateful for each and every one of those days, because I know that my parents did their best to stay together for us.

Their wedding anniversary was an ill-prepared surprise party which was entirely my fault. I thought of the plan a little too late, lucky it had been salvaged by my siblings who were with my parents. Despite the utter simplicity of it all, it made our parents happy and seeing the smile on their faces was more than enough reward for me.

I feel emotional about this because I know my parents currently live a diffucult life. We always say that as people grow older, they become grumpier. I am guilty of this generalizing as I brushed off my parents annoyance with each other as part of becoming "old."

But it's more than just age. It's all part of married life. What I have learned from my own marriage is that it's hard. Sure, there is love, the foundation of the union between husband and wife. But love is more than the butterflies in your stomach. It's more than staring into each other's eyes.

The moment you have children marks the beginning of having less attention for each other. There'd be hardly any time for cuddling while talking about sweet nothings.

Instead, you discuss about what is good for the kids, which school they should go to, whether they have enough toys, are they happy, are they okay... everything will become mostly about the kids.

Then there are arguments arising from the most trivial things such as the kids being over or under dressed for an occasion, a disorganised desk, a missed laundry pile... spouses can easily become the sponge absorbing each other's exhaustion and frustrations.

The love required in a marriage is truly and most selflessly beautiful. From the time you loved the other person, you have made yourself vulnerable. You take on a role, whether as a provider, as a carer or both and for years you will be seen only in that role. And my parents had taken on their roles perfectly, in my opinion.

All those years, I saw my parents as the good provider and the selfless carer. It was hard to imagine that they were someone else too before becoming our parents, you know as lovers. Maybe, I realised, even my parents have forgotten who they were as individuals.

That night we surprised my parents on their anniversary, I repeatedly watched and looked at their videos and photos. Mom, being her sassy self pretended to be nonchalant but her face was beaming with happiness while Dad, the ever patient person, grabbed the opportunity to make Mom feel young and cared for again. 


It was a beautiful sight, my Dad's arm around Mom, smiles on their faces. It must have been a relief for everyone to see them in this mood too, instead of the constant indifference lately (sometimes even anxious and frustrated). As I have said, their 44 years together weren't all beautiful days.

I happily told my husband that if Mom gets more of these surprises, she'd probably be less cranky. My husband replied, that's because Mom has always been the one taking care of everybody. And he is right. 


Now, I realised that while age can make you resentful, so does the burden that comes inevitably in married life. Perhaps, it's about time that I help my parents let go of their roles and start attending to themselves again. Perhaps, I should make them feel cared for more often.

My parents have been wonderful as Mom and Dad, all those years and I feel bad because I haven't really shown how much I love and care for them too.

It's about time that I help them rediscover who they were before us, and that is as lovers, and as themselves. Because there is nothing I would want more for their anniversary - and for all the days thereafter - than to see them live happily. Ever after.




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Home Experiment for HS Students: Importance of Brushing our Teeth

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

It all started when my eldest daughter sought my help for her school project. They need to present an experiment which they could perform at home. Believe me, it wasn't easy to come up with on for the obvious reason that we lack materials and equipment at home. 

Initially, we thought to do an experiment about whether plants would grow better with more human attention than not, but this is not the growing season so it didn't work.

Then I remembered this commercial about a toothpaste when I was young. In the commercial, they brushed a couple of shells with brand x and y toothpaste and then immersed them both for 24 hours in bleach.

We had to replace the shells with eggshells to accelerate the results and replaced the objective by pointing out to the importance of brushing our teeth in general than comparing brands as this was not a marketing experiment.

Finally without further ado, let's jump in. And by the way, credits are all to my fantastic daughter who is too modest to take the lime light.

Purpose of the experiment

The objective of this home experiment is to show the importance of brushing one's teeth and possibly, to also discourage us from eating too much acidic foods. 

At first, we didn't think that there would be varying results between the brands of toothpaste used, so we only used 2 in this experiment. 

The results were surprising.

Background of the experiment

Eggshells were used because they have the same chemical composition as our tooth enamel, making them react similarly with chemicals.

Bleach represents the acid that damage our teeth. According to Healthline.com, one of the main causes of enamel erosion are acids found in the foods and liquids we consume. 

Saliva constantly neutralises acid in our mouth to protect our teeth. But eating too much acidic food and drink, and not properly brushing our teeth can cause the outer layer of enamel to degrade over time.

You can refer to the article mentioned above for examples of food that can cause enamel erosion.

Equipment used in the experiment

The clear disposable cups we used didn't come with lids. Demi had to transfer the eggshells and bleach to another container with a lid so she could bring them to school for presentation. 

If you need to present too, save yourself the hassle and get yourself disposable cups with lids online.

Procedure

Demi prepared 3 disposable cups and labelled each as follows:

  • Oral B
  • Atomy
  • None

She then put equal amount of bleach in each cups.

Bleach on cups experiment

Then Demi started brushing one of the eggshells with ATOMY toothpaste. She left the toothpaste on before immersing the eggshell into the acid. 


Then she brushed the other eggshell with Oral B. As with the ATOMY, she left the toothpaste on and then immersed the eggshell on the bleach.


Finally, she added the eggshell without the toothpaste in the acid last.

All eggshells were immersed in bleach by 19:40 PM.

Results

After less than 5 minutes, the eggshell without any toothpaste on was already crumbling. When we looked, the eggshell has completely disintegrated.

We left all eggshells overnight and checked again after 24 hours. 

The objective of the experiment has been achieved. Clearly, brushing our teeth is important in reducing the effect of acid on our teeth enamel. 

We thought that there wouldn't be a difference in the results of either eggshells with ATOMY or Oral B. Or if there would be, we thought that the eggshell with Oral B would hold its shape better because the toothpaste was marketed as good for "gum care and enamel restore."

Meanwhile, ATOMY is marketed as a toothpaste with "propolis" and "green tea extract." Meaning, its antibacterial properties help to prevent bad breath. While this feature had been proven by actual users, in this experiment, it wasn't very relevant.

Photo below was after 24 hours

After 24 hours, both eggshells with Oral B and ATOMY held their form. Surprisingly, there were less broken pieces found in the eggshell with ATOMY than the eggshell with Oral B.

There has been differences in the photo because we had to place the cups somewhere safer. Initially, we held the experiment on the kitchen counter but had to move the cups in a corner where it's not accessible as bleach is a dangerous substance.

As such, the lighting also changed but in the photo below, it is clear that the eggshell without the toothpaste has crumbled to the ground. The eggshell with Oral B had decreased its size dramatically and you can see that there were more broken pieces at the bottom. 

Meanwhile, the eggshell with ATOMY toothpaste held its shape the best among the three.

Conclusion

Demi's experiment had been a good eye-opener about the importance of brushing our teeth as well as choosing a better diet to keep our teeth healthy. We do not disregard other factors, of course, such as genetics and lifestyle.

Although it was not part of Demi's hypothesis in the beginning, it appeared that choosing a brand of toothpaste is also important if we want to keep our teeth healthy.

Despite the fact that we already use ATOMY toothpaste, this experiment only made me more confident and thankful that I made the right choice. 😁

PS: Feel free to re-create this experiment for a school project, for marketing presentation, or just for fun with the kids. Just be very careful in using bleach. Use gloves and mask!

PPS: If you want to shift your brand to ATOMY, message to buy from me. Thanks in advance! 💗

PPPS: The toothbrush used here is also ATOMY. It's soft bristles contain fine gold dust for antibacterial properties, keeping your brush clean 24/7. If you're tired of getting moulds on your toothbrush handle, go for this one. For the technology used to make quality toothbrush like this, their price is very cheap. If this convinced you to change brands, message to buy from me too hehehe. Thanks in advance again! 💗

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