Follow Your Instincts
I’ve been a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator for 15 years, and I’ve been stamping longer than that. In all that time, I’ve been using vellum paper and cardstock. So you’d think I’d know a few things, like, if you’re stamping on vellum, heat set it so it won’t smear.
That’s one of the things I know. But did I follow that knowledge when I made this card for a demonstrator team challenge? No, I did not. And the end result was a mess.
Our challenge was to create a winter themed project. I had lots of ideas, but the beginning of 2018 has been a horrible nightmare for those of us in the South, so I decided to go for a snowy card. We haven’t had a lot of snow, but it’s been really cold. Not cold like some of my friends are experiencing, but cold for us. We don’t usually have single digits here, much less negative numbers. Brrrrrr!
I used the splatter and trees stamps from new Waterfront set in the Occasions Catalog for the background. Then I stamped the banner and 2018 from the Number of Years stamp set on vellum in Night of Navy Classic ink. Using the coordinating Large Numbers framelits, I die-cut them and embossed happy in white on the banner.
I love the basics of this card, but I didn’t heat set the Night of Navy ink on the vellum cardstock, and it smeared a lot. I covered some of it up with glitter, but it kept getting worse. So I decided to use this card as an example of what not to do.
This really hit home last weekend. My mom’s birthday was Sunday, and I volunteered to make her birthday cake. Ok, I always make her birthday cake, but this year I wanted it to be extra special, because it was a special birthday. Mom turned 85 (or 58, because she’s decided to be dyslexic this year). She loves caramel cake, and my grandmother on Mom’s side has this amazing recipe for caramel icing that I always use for her cake. I wanted to do something over the top this year, so I searched the internet.
The cake that I found was pretty good. It had lots of eggs and used sour cream instead of milk, so it was a very moist and heavy cake. So, so good. But the icing…
The icing recipe looked good. But the instructions said to “heat until everything is mixed.” It didn’t say, “boil for one minute.” My granny’s recipes all said to boil the butter, milk, and sugar for a minute, but this one didn’t. So, being a “rule follower,” I followed the instructions instead of my instincts – and that’s where I went horribly wrong.
After two hours of cooking the icing and following the recipe, the frosting still didn’t thicken, so I put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning – still soupy icing. UGH! After I added two cups of confectioner’s sugar and didn’t see any difference, I gave up and threw it out. Then I went back to Granny’s recipe, which was much quicker, easier, and fool-proof. After less than 15 minutes, I had my icing ready to go. It was delicious, and I was kicking myself for not following this recipe from the beginning.
Even though the recipe said, “follow your instincts,” I didn’t. I knew I should have boiled the basic ingredients, but I didn’t – just like I knew I should have heat set the classic ink on the vellum.
So that’s my take for today – follow your instincts. Even if a crafter doesn’t tell you to “heat set,” or “emboss,” or anything else in the blog, do what you know is right. Trust your instincts, because they’re almost always right.
Thanks for stopping by Stamping with Buffy. Have a lovely day!
Oh well – stuff happens! And your card still looks good, Buffy! By the way – I always follow directions 1st time; after that – it’s freestyle! 🙂
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Thanks, Deborah! I also go freestyle after the first time. I think, “well, that’s a totally non-essential step,” – and then I find out it kind of was a little more essential. But it helps me be even more creative!!
Your card is beautiful. I need to remember to follow my instincts. You don’t know how many times I ignored myself and things got screwed up! Great advice!
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Thanks, Susan. It’s hard to ignore what you’re seeing and go with what you’re “feeling.” But the feeling is usually right.