It’s Card Ministry time again! This month I was inspired by the busy squirrels that I see every day outside my window. They are industrious little guys, and it’s fun to watch them gracefully leap among the trees and hop over the ground. We don’t have a bird feeder, so I’m not annoyed by these pesky seed thieves and I can just enjoy them in their natural element. And this cute cartoon-style squirrel image is just too adorable to be annoying! The kicker was that the stamp set includes a “Happy Birthday” sentiment, so I was able to create with a single set. That’s always a win to me! For the card ministry I try to use stamps that don’t seem too “gendered”. I know it’s old-fashioned, but I worry that if I create a batch of floral cards that may put off a male recipient that month. So this poses a challenge for me because my stamp collection has A LOT of floral stamps. I do have enough other stamps that I’m able to do something different each month, but I do find it a little constraining. I should just ask the card ministry coordinator if she agrees with my concern or if I’m being silly.

For this card I pulled out some recently retired DSP for the sides of the card and some ribbon that retired a few years ago. That’s one of the things that I enjoy about the card ministry is that it allows me to put some retired products to use that are languishing in my basement. I can’t use these products in my regular business since people can’t purchase them any more. I learned this lesson a long time ago – after a guest at a party looked at a sample and then asked what she needed to purchase to re-create it. She was dismayed when I told her that one of the products was retired and she didn’t have the energy to consider options for the unavailable item. She knew what she wanted… and I couldn’t help. So, in general I only create and share with all-current products. The card ministry is my one exception, and I know that there are lots of you that can be inspired and make substitutions without batting an eye. So even though you can’t get the ribbon and DSP, I hope you can still enjoy this idea and use it for inspiration for your own creations. And those squirrels are so STINKIN’ CUTE! 😍

One last thing – I have to call out how valuable the Stamparatus was for mass production of this card. I was able to line up the fill-in images for the gray part of the squirrel and the 2 parts of the acorn, and then I could stamp 36 of these guys with every one of them lining up perfectly. If I was doing it by hand, there definitely would have been a few that had fur that was off a little bit, or an acorn part that didn’t line up just right. The Stamparatus allowed me to get every one of them right the first time – I didn’t have to re-stamp ANY. If you don’t have one of these tools, I definitely encourage you to consider it.

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