; Inked Inspirations by SLMP

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Do People Still Send Cards?

"Your cards are beautiful, do people still send cards?"

"I'd buy your cards, but I don't know who I'd send them too."  


These statements do two things, they validate some sort of guilt for the person saying them and they sting the recipient.  The sayer is very often the same person who would be delighted to get something other than junk and bills in their mailbox.  The recipient is often saddened by the lack of value placed on what they've created. 

Our lives have become so overwhelmingly saturated with activity we've lost sight of being kind just for the sake of being kind.  Sending letters used to be the only form of communication and now it's referred to as a "lost art" and treated as an inconvinence.  We talk about not know what to say if we were to write the note and not having anyone to send happy mail to anyway.  We don't seem to have that trouble with email, texts, and IM, but sending a note with a stamp is too much. 

Source:  Pinterest
We don't know the inner battles that those closest to us are fighting every day.  Wouldn't it be amazing if you could ease their struggle for just a moment?  That note dropped in the mail could do that.  Email and texts don't create the same kind of connection that a good old fashioned letter or handwritten note does. 

You never know who really needs that card or note dropped into their bucket.  I have a friend who told me a story about filling other peoples buckets a while back and it really resonated with me.  Sending Happy Mail is just that, a bucket filler, a joy maker, a smile maker, a heart string tugger.  Think about that for a while.  Think about the quiet smile that crosses someone's face when they find a card or letter in their mailbox. 

Source:  Pinterest

I don't care if you buy my cards.   I care about reaching out to those in your life that you love and care about.  Reach out, tell them you thought of them today.  Stop scrolling through your social media, absently clicking "like" and actually reach out to someone you've been thinking about this week. 

Source: Pinterest

Your strong friends need that smile too.  Be the bright spot in someone's day.  Go send a note.  Don't complain about the cost of postage, you probably spend more on a coffee two or three times a week. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Orange is a Theme

I've noticed a little theme in my card making as of late, orange.  I've not always been a lover of orange, but as of late it sure is popping up in several of the cards I've made.

Get Well Butterflies (SENT)

Happy Mother's Day - Orange (SOLD)


Thanks (SENT)


Happiest of Birthdays to You (AVAILABLE HERE)


What do you think?  Do you love the orange?

Interested in the products used?  Here are a few affiliate links:


Affiliate links are used at no additional charge to you
Kokuyo Tape Glue Dot Liner Long tape, Refill cartridge 5 Pack,
Kokuyo Tape Glue Dot Liner Long tape, Refill cartridge 5 Pack,
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SSS | AZ
Kokuyo Tape Glue Dot Liner Long-Blue
Kokuyo Tape Glue Dot Liner Long-Blue
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Lil' Inkers - STITCHED SENTIMENT FLAG DIE
Lil' Inkers - STITCHED SENTIMENT FLAG DIE
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Simon Says Stamp STITCHED RECTANGLES Wafer Dies
Simon Says Stamp STITCHED RECTANGLES Wafer Dies
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Simon Says Stamp WONKY RECTANGLES Wafer Dies
Simon Says Stamp WONKY RECTANGLES Wafer Dies
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WOW Embossing Powder PRIMARY EBONY SUPER FINE
WOW Embossing Powder PRIMARY EBONY SUPER FINE
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Gina K Designs JET BLACK AMALGAM Cube Ink Mini Pad
Gina K Designs JET BLACK AMALGAM Cube Ink Mini Pad
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Tsukineko VersaFine Pigment Ink Pad - Onyx Black
Tsukineko VersaFine Pigment Ink Pad - Onyx Black
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Neenah Classic Crest 80 LB REAM Smooth Solar White Paper Pack 250 Sheets
Neenah Classic Crest 80 LB REAM Smooth Solar White Paper Pack 250 Sheets
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Neenah Classic Crest 80 LB SMOOTH SOLAR WHITE Paper Pack 25 Sheets
Neenah Classic Crest 80 LB SMOOTH SOLAR WHITE Paper Pack 25 Sheets
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Uni-Ball Pen Signo Gel WHITE
Uni-Ball Pen Signo Gel WHITE
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Uni-Ball Pen Signo Gel WHITE
Uni-Ball Pen Signo Gel WHITE
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Concord & 9th HELLO LOVELY Clear Stamp Set
Concord & 9th HELLO LOVELY Clear Stamp Set
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Honey Bee BEST PARENTS Clear Stamp Set
Honey Bee BEST PARENTS Clear Stamp Set
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Simon Says Clear Stamps SKETCHED FLOWERS
Simon Says Clear Stamps SKETCHED FLOWERS
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Fiskars - Razor Edge Easy Action Shears
Fiskars - Razor Edge Easy Action Shears
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Fiskars PREMIUM CUT LINE Paper Trimmer 12 Inches
Fiskars PREMIUM CUT LINE Paper Trimmer 12 Inches
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Tonic Studios - Tim Holtz - Stamp Platform
Tonic Studios - Tim Holtz - Stamp Platform
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Wagner Heat Gun
Wagner Heat Gun
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We R Memory Keepers - Evolution Advanced Die Cutting Tool
We R Memory Keepers - Evolution Advanced Die Cutting Tool
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SB | AZ

Monday, May 13, 2019

MFT Cross Stitched Tag Die - Hello Owl


Did I mention I love this owl?  This is the second one of these little guys I've stitched and they're just too cute!  I'm sharing yet another card using the MFT Cross Stitched Tag Die and a pattern from their free resource page.  I completed this card with a green cardstock tag topper, a little hello cut from matching green, a bit of yellow vintage seam binding tape with some green thread, some yellow zig-zag pattern paper from my stash and mounted it all on a kraft card based.

Techniques Used:

Die Cutting & Stitching

Links to Products Used:

Affiliate links are used at no additional charge to you
Kokuyo Tape Glue Dot Liner Long tape, Refill cartridge 5 Pack,
Kokuyo Tape Glue Dot Liner Long tape, Refill cartridge 5 Pack,
Shop at:
SSS | AZ
Kokuyo Tape Glue Dot Liner Long-Blue
Kokuyo Tape Glue Dot Liner Long-Blue
Shop at:
SSS | AZ
Die-namics Cross-Stitch Tag
Die-namics Cross-Stitch Tag
Shop at:
SSS | MFT
Simon Says Stamp SMALL HELLO Craft Die
Simon Says Stamp SMALL HELLO Craft Die
Shop at:
SSS
Fiskars - Razor Edge Easy Action Shears
Fiskars - Razor Edge Easy Action Shears
Shop at:
SSS | SB
Fiskars PREMIUM CUT LINE Paper Trimmer 12 Inches
Fiskars PREMIUM CUT LINE Paper Trimmer 12 Inches
Shop at:
SSS | SB | AZ
We R Memory Keepers - Evolution Advanced Die Cutting Tool
We R Memory Keepers - Evolution Advanced Die Cutting Tool
Shop at:
SB | AZ

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Updates for May 2019


Sometimes I feel like I'm stumbling in the dark, but I can honestly say it's all worth it.  This year I've done a lot of things outside my comfort zone and I keep moving forward.


I invested a lot of time in making Graduation cards.  I used a folding template I found on Pinterest and customized them to local school colors.  I also adapted them to have a pocket for a gift card of money.  They turned out so cute and have been a popular seller at the gift shop I have my cards in.


April was my first full month of sales at Smiling Moose Gifts, here in our small Alaskan hometown.  I sold enough to cover my first two months of booth rent, and while this seems like that wasn't much it was a huge milestone to me.  I went way out of my comfort zone to sign a contract and put my handmade cards somewhere other than on my own website.  My goal for my first month was to sell enough to cover one month's rent.  I doubled that. 


For the month of May, I have started a Patreon account.  I've built three tiers of membership to try this out.  Things are sure to changes as I learn more about Patreon and what my Patron give me feedback on. 

  • Just Support:  If you just want to show support and have access to exclusive sales and giveaways.
  • Happy Mail Virgin:  If you've never thought about sending Happy Mail and aren't sure you'd send many cards each month.  This gets you three cards per month and access to exclusive sales and giveaways.
  • Happy Mail Novice:  If your new to sending Happy Mail and send cards regularly each month.  This gets you six cards per month and access to exclusive sales and giveaways.
There's more to come.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Currently: March 2019

Thoughts:

There are so many, but lately, there have been a flood of thoughts for this creative space, as well as many others.  

I have so many ideas, but when I push them in the direction of creating a business with them I end up where I am right now.  This is the point Hubby refers to as the burnout point.  I'll be honest, this time it feels a little different from burnout.  This time it feels more like an exploration, a journey if you will.

It's about art, not about just one style or type of kind of art.  It's all art, the cards, the sketchbook, and even the photography.  It's all art.  The only differences are the mediums used to create the art.  

The Cards:

I haven't been making much the last month or so, partially because I've been journaling and sketching while I explore some ideas.  I will continue to create cards, but there are some new ideas and styles coming.

I wrote a post over at The Porch Postscript a couple of weeks ago - Seeking Something That is Authenticly Mine, where I talk about making more of my own art.  Cards are the perfect size for me to create with, but I need to move past limiting myself to what is offered in the world of stamping/cardmaking supplies. 

I need to put my own creative heart and soul into what I'm making and creating.  I have to push myself into unfamiliar territory in order to grow my artistic style and find that thing that is authenticly mine.

The Newsletter:

Not dead, just on hold.  I want to write more and develop a better newsletter for the readers.  Right now it's just like every other email newsletter out there.  It's little blurbs of mostly meaningless stuff that many are probably mindlessly scrolling through and then deleting from their inbox.  This too will evolve, have patients.

This Space:

I hate the word blog, so we're not gonna call it a blog anymore.  Here forward this will be the Artist Journal.  Classy right?  Well okay, classy or cheesy, this is what I'm going with.  I'm also not going to force myself to write entries here on any kind of schedule.  Sorry, but when I do that it loses the authenticity I'm so eagerly seeking.  

The Next Part of my Journey:

Art, all kinds of art.  Creating pieces that make me happy and building my own style.  Growing my creativity and combining things that I have always thought aren't supposed to be together - Cards, Art, Photography, and Writing.  Don't judge.  I've always felt like I wasn't supposed to create things using all of these elements.  Crazy?  YES!!!  Absolutely nuts, and it only took me 41 years to figure this out.  I hope you'll stick around as I make this artistic shift.  

Friday, January 25, 2019

Inked Inspirations Newsletter to Phase out Blog

In January I launched the Inked Inspirations Happy Mail Newsletter.  I started a newsletter because I have a new focus and a new direction that I want to take Inked Inspirations in 2019.

While we were on vacation over the holiday season I did a lot of soul searching on the subject of the creative business that I'm focused on growing.  I was brutally honest with myself and I'd like to be brutally honest with you.  I stated before, in other posts, that I don't enjoy writing how-to posts.  Frankly, those kinds of posts for me are painfully forced.  I enjoy making and the pressure of keeping track of what I did and how I did it takes away from the joy of making.  I'm not here to be the next Jennifer McGuire or anyone else in the industry.  I love her and really admire what she, and others in the industry, do to encourage makers, but that really isn't my niche.

So, what is my niche, my focus, my desire to create with Inked Inspirations?

When I picked card making back up my focus was sending more Happy Mail.  I wanted to put more kindness out into the world.  I need to refocus on this desire.  My craving to make, send, sell and encourage others to share happy mail.  This is about sharing what I make and using my creative gifts to make the world a brighter place, one card at a time.

Please consider subscribing to the Newsletter.  I'll be sharing resources for both makes and senders to keep the Happy Mail moving into mailboxes.  This newsletter is currently released monthly, and I promise to never share or sell your info.

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The Blog will remain here for now, as a place to get inspired by my past projects, but right now the decision is to close the writing space.  That's not to say I won't add additional posts in the future, but 2019 is pulling me in a different direction. 

You will be able to follow me on Facebook and Instagram if you still want to see behind the scenes work and card creations.  If you're looking for handmade cards for your own Happy Mail sending I encourage you to visit the shop.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Studio Reflection: Week 3

Sorry, this is later than I planned for it to be.  I've been busy working on the February Newsletter.  If you're interested in subscribing you can do that HERE.  This is what last week looked like:

I did some more Copic critter coloring.


I spent some time writing out a few Happy Mail notes.


I put the "guts" and branding on all of these cards and listed them in the shop.


I hung a magnetic strip above my die cutting machine to stick the dies I''m currently using on.


I finally got all of my thank you cards sent out for the Christmas and Birthday gifts received.


Picked up some new DMC #3 thread for tags, had to put it all on bobbins.


Thanks for swinging by.