Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Gingerbread Man Christmas – Meilleurs Voeux – card

Gingerbread man Christmas card with digital stamp, by Paperesse.

The digital stamp on this card is a freebie from now defunct Whimsie Doodles (thus, no link). It is a great stamp and this is the second time I've used it (if you're curious you can see it in its first incarnation here). Now in case you're wondering what's the connection between Meilleurs Voeux and Christmas, let me explain that many people in France send out cards around the holidays that say only this, no Merry Christmas or the like. It means best wishes, but it's really just a way to wrap up the whole Merry Christmas/Happy New Year/Happy Holidays thing in one phrase and is applicable to anyone no matter their religious affiliation.

Paper is Bringmann Folia's Motifblock Christmas paper pad. I don't know if you can find this brand easily in the States (it's German), but it's the one I find most easily here. I quite like them; the pads are large (24 x 34cm) and the paper is very good quality.

The rectangle postage stamp die and circle border die are some of the no-brand Amazon/eBay type. I have to admit, these cut very well and the price can't be beat. I created the sentiment with Candy Round BTN font. The gingerbread man embellishment is the final touch.

Supply List
Paper – cardstock, Folia's Motifblock Christmas paper pad
Digital stamp – Whimsie Doodles
Color – Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies – no-brand postage stamp & circular border, Die-namics rectangle stax
Embellishments – gingerbread man
Font – Candy Round BTN

I'm linking up with: Sweet Stampin' Christmas February – ATG Christmas, ABC Christmas Challenge C is for Candy/D is for Decorations, Addicted to Stamps #328 – Holiday, The Crafty Addicts #57 – ATG, The Holly and Ivy Christmas Challenge #44 – ATG Christmas, Merry Little Christmas Challenge #7 – ATG Christmas, and The 12 Months of Christmas #50 Link-up – ATG Christmas.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Banana birthday card featuring QKR Stampede Banana digital stamp

Banana birthday card featuring QKR Stampede Banana digital stamp, by Paperesse.

I just love this banana digital stamp from QKR Stampede. You could use it with so many different sentiments, such as 'Hope you're peeling better!', or how about 'It's your birthday, go bananas!', or I know 'I'm going bananas over you!'. If I google it, I'm sure I'll come up with more. To complete my front sentiment 'We've got a peeling...' my inside sentiment says ''s your birthday!'. I originally designed this for a guy, but it would work for anyone.

Some of my favorite stamps are from QKR Stampede. They're just that little bit of quirky I like; an example of which is this Sunbathing Potato Happy Summer card.

The digital paper is Monkey from Design Bundles.

I didn't think this paper needed much help so I kept embellishments simple with some CANDi and enamel dots.

Supply List
Paper – cardstock,  Monkey Design Bundles digital paper
Digital stamp – QKR Stampede Banana
Color – Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies – Die-namics circle and rectangle stax
Embellishments – CANDi and enamel dots
Font – Candy Round BTN

I'm linking up with: QKR Stampede Challenge #332 – ATG, TTCRD week of January 29 – ATG, Tuesday Throwndown #424 – ATG, Use Your Stuff #345 – Enamel Dots, and Crafty Sentiments 29/01/19 – ATG.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Caroling Penguins Christmas card

Caroling penguins Christmas card, featuring Scribbles Designs Three B digital stamp, by Paperesse.

These cute caroling penguins (Three B digital stamp) are from Scribbles Designs. The paper they're placed against is a digital paper sheet music freebie from Free Vintage Digital Stamps.

If your crafting pocketbook is suffering post Christmas blues, but you're itching to try something new, consider giving Free Vintage Digital Stamps a look-see. You can get your fix for free! In addition to cute papers, there are also stamps, as seen on this male golfer card I did a while back.

The sentiment was created with Footlight MT Light font. The stitched square dies are more of my inexpensive no-brand Amazon/eBay variety. These metal note embellishments I picked up recently for not even a euro echo perfectly the notes shown in the stamp (is that not a stroke of luck or what?).

Supply List
Paper – cardstock,  free sheet music digital paper
Digital stamp – Scribbles Designs Three B 
Color – Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies – no-brand stitched squares
Embellishments – musical notes
Font – Footlight MT Light

I'm linking up with: Unicorn Challenge #39 – Things with Wings, The Holly and Ivy Christmas Challenge #43 – ATG Christmas, Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #205 – All About Holidays, Fab 'n' Funky #424 – Creating for Christmas, Cute N' Crafty Christmas #5 – Christmas/Winter, Cute Card Thursday #566 – Critters, Crimbo Crackers #176 – ATG Christmas, and Aud Sentiments #219 – ATG + a sentiment.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Happy National Handwriting Day! in support of cursive handwriting

Happy National Handwriting Day! If you're a regular follower of Paperesse, you know I strongly support cursive handwriting instruction in schools, which the implementation of Common Core Standards in the United States has negatively impacted. As CCS do not require cursive handwriting instruction, less and less schools are teaching it. There are exceptions to this, however. Many states have bypassed standards to create their own guidelines. You can read more about this in my post from last year and my first post on this subject, Cursive Writing – It's important! 10 reasons to teach and use it.

My previous posts have focused on elementary school, but the benefits of cursive writing extend far beyond that. Studies continue to prove that university students who take notes by hand – rather than laptop – retain more of what they learn and score higher on exams. In researching this post, I read a interesting Wall Street Journal article on just this subject – I’d Be an ‘A’ Student if I Could Just Read My Notes.  As more and more professors ban distracting laptops from their classrooms (a move I heartily applaud), many students who have not been taught effective handwriting skills are struggling.

More research on this subject led me to Education Next's website and their post, Should Professors Ban Laptops?. It thoroughly addresses this question with in-depth research, proving beyond any doubt that students learn more and score higher on exams in classrooms without laptops. Another interesting post on their site Laptops in the Classroom: An Open and Closed Case, interviewed three professors who have implemented no laptop policies and the results they have had. It was interesting to read their take on addressing a sea of laptops and the omnipresent click-click of taping keyboards; I can only imagine how unpleasant that must be.

The benefits of handwriting are universal and applicable to us all, no matter our age. As Forbe's Three Ways That Handwriting With A Pen Positively Affects Your Brain points out, the act of writing something by hand can have a meditative type effect on our brains, releasing hidden creativity. It can also sharpen our minds, helping us to think more positively. It helps with mindfulness, too, forcing us to slow down a bit and 'enjoy the moment'.

What's not to like? Pick up a pen and get writing!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Masculine birthday card featuring Scribbles Brr Bday Chef digital stamp

Penguin chef birthday card, featuring Scribbles Brr Bday Chef digital stamp, by Paperesse.

I like to have birthday cards on hand so that if I've forgotten someone and need one right away (or I'm not feeling crafty) I'm covered. This card is one of those. I designed it as a masculine card, but now that I look at it, I figure it will work for either a man or a woman.

The digi is Scribbles Brr Bday Chef. The sentiment was created with Smarty Pants font. Patterned paper is of the off brand discount store type (like the majority of what I have). I paper pieced the towel and bow tie. Red and black seem to be my go-to color scheme for chef images (like this other male birthday card – Chef with Cake). The red and white reminds me of table cloths and Italian restaurants. I don't know why. These could be French chefs, in which case that wouldn't apply, but hey, it works so I go with it.

Embellishments are...embellishment is...a simple pearl on the bow tie. I didn't think this one needed much.

Supply List
Paper – cardstock,  patterned digital paper
Digital stamp – Scribbles Brr Bday Chef
Color – Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies – Die-namics oval and rectangle stax
Embellishment – pearl
Font – Smarty Pants

I'm linking up with: Scribbles Designs Challenge Blog #73 – It's Birthday Time Again!, Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #204 – Masculine Anything Goes, A Bit More Time to Craft #84 – ATG, The Male Room #102 – ATG option Beverages, and Crafty Creations #382 – ATG.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Pickle Christmas card

Christmas card, featuring Drawn by Krista's Christmas Pickle digital stamp, by Paperesse.

I'm continuing last year's quest for unusual, humorous Christmas cards. This one features an image from Drawn by Krista – Christmas Pickle. It's in the same vein as my Gluten Free Santa card.

Isn't the sentiment (created with Candy Round BTN font) just too hilarious? It cracks me up. It's so clever I wish I could take credit for it, but alas, no, I've seen it on several sites. I'd give recognition to whoever the smarty pants was that came up with it if I could, but I don't know who to attribute it to. I'll just be honest and admit it wasn't me.

Paper and paper ribbon (yep, that's digital, too) are from my scraps folder. You might recognize them from this 2017 Christmas card. Embellishments are a wooden snowflake and button.

Supply List
Paper – cardstock,  patterned digital paper
Digital stamp – Drawn by Krista Christmas Pickle
Color – Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies – Die-namics rectangle stax
Embellishments – wooden snowflake, button
Font – Candy Round BTN

I'm linking up with: Winter Wonderfland 04/01/19 – It's Snow Time, Merry Little Christmas Challenge Blog #6 – ATCG, The 12 Months of Christmas #49 – ATCG + option: Anything but a rectangle, ABC Christmas Challenge 02/01/19 – A for Anything Christmas, B for Berries, Addicted to Stamps and More #323 – Holiday, Christmas at Sweet Stampin' January – ATCG, Cute N' Crafty Christmas #4 – ATCG, and Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #203 – All About Occasions.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Pup masculine birthday card

Masculine birthday card featuring Party Patch digital stamp from Di's Digi Stamps, by Paperesse.

This birthday card for a male friend of ours features the Party Patch digital stamp from Di's Digi Stamps. I added the birthday sentiment with Euphoria Script font.

I used some recycled bits from my scrap bin for the paper. This was some of the leftovers from the four birthday cards I made in 2016 for the #150 Issue of Simply Cards & Papercraft magazine. It was a great paper pack from the now defunct Tactile Studio. Such a shame; she had some great papers.

I used my Toga polaroid die (DCG 509) to frame the image and added a strip of crinkled paper ribbon and a few buttons for embellishment. This is one of my favorite dies. It seems like every card I use it on turns out great (like this Bobblehead Christmas Santa card) . Search the blog for 'polaroid' and you'll see what I mean.

Supply List
Paper – cardstock,  patterned digital paper
Digital stamp – Di's Digi Stamps Party Patch
Color – Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies – Toga polaroid die (DCG 509)
Embellishments – buttons
Font – Euphoria Script

I'm linking up with: The Paper Players #423 – Crazy About Critters, Lil' Patch of Crafty Criends #97 – AATG, International Art & Soul #49 – Cats and/or Dogs, Pile it On! #150 – Land Animals (+ one other challenge theme), and Crafting with Friends #77 – ATG.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Happy New Year! Paperesse's 2018 Retrospective

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2019 is starting off well and you've all recovered from any New Year's Eve overindulgence.

It's that time of year again, time for Paperesse's annual January retrospective of favorite posted projects from each month of the previous year. If you'd like more info on each month's pick (supply list, etc.), just click on the monthly link. I enjoy doing these. I like looking back over the year's creative output, and it's always interesting to observe how my style has changed from year to year.

If you're still sitting around with the waistband of your pants unbuttoned, too sluggish to do much of anything else, you can see previous yearly retrospectives here: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.













Monday, December 24, 2018

Joyeux Noël ! Merry Christmas!

Geneva, Switzerland, Christmas Market, 23/12/18

À tous ceux qui observent la fête, je profite de l'occasion pour vous souhaiter, ainsi qu'à votre famille, un très Joyeux Noël !

To everyone observing the holiday I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Do people still roast chestnuts on an open fire? What roasted chestnuts are like in France and Europe

A chestnut stand in Vienna, Austria.

We're all familiar with the Christmas classic The Christmas Song and its beginning verse, 'Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...', and although that song has made roasting chestnuts synonymous with Christmas, it's something Americans do less and less of. It's hard to believe today, but at one time nearly half of all trees in America's east coast forests were American Chestnut trees. Unfortunately, blight struck in the early 1900's and by the 40's almost all American Chestnut trees were wiped out. Which might explain why it's not so popular in the States anymore and roasted chestnut vendors are few and far between. As a lover of all things chestnut, I'm happy to say that is not the case in France and throughout Europe – roasted chestnuts are just about everywhere this time of year.

Spiny chestnut hulls and shelled roasted inner nut (photo courtesy of  U. Leone 'Ulleo', Pixabay).

Chestnuts are called châtaigne in France, or marron. It can be a bit confusing which is which and you'll see châtaigne and marron used interchangeably, but they are technically not the same thing. Both are different varieties of the châtaignier tree. The châtaigne is grown on the wild version of the tree. It normally has three or more small nuts in each spiny hull (which is called a bogue – see photo above). The marron version is grown on the cultivated châtaignier tree and has only one big round nut in the bogue. When you're talking roasted chestnuts, it's the marron version you're more likely to be eating.

Hulled chestnuts for sale.

We love chestnuts in France and grow them in many areas; the most famous being from the Ardèche département. We use them in a variety of ways all year round – soups, cakes, spreads, liqueurs, etc. – and they are especially popular at Christmas as marrons glacés, a decadent candied style, but for the sake of this post I'm focusing on their roasted form. Just about any European city in the winter will have roasted chestnut stands stuck here and there (follow your nose, they smell wonderful!) and they are staples in Christmas markets across the continent.

Whole chestnuts are sold in the produce section of supermarkets and in open markets as well, making roasting your chestnuts at home with a poêle à marrons  (chestnut roasting pan) or its electric equivalent quite easy. I'm lazy though and prefer to buy mine.

A market vendor's chestnut roaster.

We were in Vienna, Austria recently, and this stand was in a market there, although it could have been anywhere in Europe. I couldn't resist and bought a cornet de marrons chauds (hot roasted chestnuts in a paper cone).

A cone of hot roasted chestnuts.

The main spiny hull has been taken off to roast them, but there's a thin skin you need to remove. Peel that off, pop in your mouth, and enjoy! As an added bonus, they make nice hand warmers on a cold day.

Peel and enjoy!

Often, you'll see individuals selling them on the street, roasting them over metal containers, like this one I photographed in Paris, although I personally don't buy from these.

A chestnut street vendor.

Now, maybe next time you hear The Christmas Song, you'll think of roasted chestnuts European style!
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