Sunday, May 30, 2021

A Creative Bibliophile - May 2021

I've started a few books lately that I just couldn't finish - I give myself at least a few chapters before putting it down for good.  I also just put the nook app on my iPhone so I now have over 1200 books/samples with me wherever I go .  I hate being somewhere with time on my hands, but no book to read ! What are your latest favorite reads ?? Do you have any recommendations for my To-Read list ?? 

This month I have a "domestic thriller" to review. I guess that is the latest genre of books to capture our attention . Gone Girl, The Woman on the Train, The Wife Between Us, The Silent Patient . Well you get the picture. The cover of this one caught my eye and I got the sample on my nook .. It drew me in and the price was fabulous so - the rest is history !!

I had already finished this book when I read that it was a contemporary retelling of the classic Jane Eyre . I will confess that I have never read that book - or many other classic novels. But I can tell you that this book kept me interested and had many great twists and turns that I did not figure out . The book centers around Jane & Eddie . Jane is a dog-walker in a gated community, who has many secrets in her past ( and present ) . Eddie lives in the gated community . He is handsome, wealthy and recently widowed, after his wife and her best friend drown in a tragic accident.  When Jane and Eddie meet, their stories become intertwined and a twisted tale begins.

This book has many great plot twists and gives you a glimpse into both Jane and Eddie's backgrounds. As you read this book, you find yourself asking just what is the truth ?? And is anyone being honest about their lives ?? The story is told from a few perspectives - beginning with Jane. I liked this aspect of the book because we find out much more of the character's stories . In the past, this manner of writing has confused me and made the story harder to follow. But in The Wife Upstairs, it enhances the book.

You can probably tell that I highly recommend this book.  The author Rachel Hawkins has written many Young Adult books,  including several series . This is her first adult novel . I hope that you will pick up this book and enjoy it as much as I did .

My bookmark for this post was made with the Start Something New stamp set from Unity Stamp Company . There's nothing I love more than a big stack of books !!

Start Something New

  • I stamped the images onto a piece of Mixed- Media paper  (the girl ) and a piece of ledger paper ( the sentiment ) .
  • I colored the girl image with my COPICS.
  • Recollections washi tape was applied to the top and bottom of the book stack panel .
  • That panel was then adhered to a piece of Strathmore Toned Blue Mixed Media Paper .
  • The sentiment was adhered to a piece of ledger paper. I made it as large as the completed book stack panel so there would be room to write.
  • On the back of the bookmark, I adhered the sentiment panel. 
Well, it's a gloomy and rainy day here at the beach .. A wash-out for the Memorial Day weekend so far, but perfect reading weather.. I have a few domestic thriller samples to try out - I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh and What You Don't Know by Joann Chaney . Have you read either of those ?? I'll keep you posted !! 

Until next time, stay safe and read a good book !!

Debra Davison / Meticulosity

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Crafty Elves' Countdown to Christmas / May 2021

May is finally here and in Virginia we are seeing some relief from COVID-19.  Brian and I just went to a restaurant to actually sit down and eat lunch for the first time in over a year. I was a bit nervous at first but we had a great time !! I hope that you have all been staying healthy and can start to get back to a bit of normality soon wherever you live. Michael, Lisa and I are excited to show you our cards and we have a guest again this month to show you some more holiday inspiration !!

My first 2 cards are again made with Close To My Heart stamps. I am still working my way through all of the great sets I bought during a recent fabulous sale !! You can always find great supplies here at my friend, Chris Franco's site - ..

  • I adhered a piece of  Tim Holtz Idea-ology Christmas Worn Wallpaper onto a cream card base. I love this vintage ornament design ..
  • A piece of plaid washi was  placed down the left side of the card.
  • The Merry & Bright image was stamped on a piece of patterned ledger paper with Gina K Jet Black Amalgam ink . This specific stamp is no longer available but this Merry Christmas stamp would work just as well.
  • I trimmed the stamped image, matted it with red cardstock and then applied it to the wallpaper .
  • I used a metallic green pen to highlight some of the leaves on the stamped image .
  • Red, blue and green rhinestones were then placed for added shimmer .

  • I stamped several of the images from the Jolly Characters stamp set by Close To My Heart onto a bookmark-sized piece of Mixed Media paper with Gina K Jet Black Amalgam Ink.
  • Holiday washi was placed between the jolly characters and also at the top and bottom .
  • I colored the images with my COPICS.
  • The completed stamped panel was adhered to a piece of green-dotted designer paper. My idea was to adhere that bookmark to the card base with removable tape but I got carried away and used my Scotch ATG so it is now permanent !! 
  • I used a fun glittery candy-cane paper from Recollections for my card base  .

Santa Baby from Unity Stamp Company is the image on this next card. I have had it for years and never used it until this month. I was so careful stamping it and then realized that I used my Grape Jelly Memento Dew Drop instead of Jet Black .I almost stamped over it ( because I was using my MISTI, of course ) but then just decided to throw it away. So I stamped it again in Jet Black, finished the card and then saw the other image still on the desk. I really hate wasting paper so I decided to try and make a card with that image too . I was pleasantly surprised how it turned out. I do love non-traditional holiday colors but purple was never even on my list ... LOL

December Twinkle Merry / Festive Wish Merriment

  • I stamped the 2 images and colored them with my COPICS.
  • Tim Holtz Small Talk stickers were adhered on the bottom right of the completed stamped images. Kraft on the red image and white on the pink/purple. 
  • I matted the purple panel with a piece of dark pink cardstock and then adhered that to a pink candy cane card base.
  • The red image was adhered to a red-dotted card base and rhinestones were placed at the upper left and bottom right corners. 
  • These 2 cards are mini-slimlines . I cut the paper 6x6 and folded it in half to create my card bases.

My last card was made with ephemera from the Simple Stories "Simple Vintage Christmas" collection ..  It is an older collection that I have been hoarding .. I placed a piece of the patterned paper on a black card base then layered multiple ephemera pieces onto the paper. I completed the card with a few large holiday-colored sequins. I adhered several images with foam tabs or tiny staples. These cards without any stamping are fun to make when you want to sit down and create a quick project. Do you make many cards without any stamping on them ??

Please check out the other Crafty Elves' projects as well as our very special guest elf , Crystal O. Minkler .

Michael Trent - World of Michael Trent
Lisa Reynolds-Bzibziak -  Life of a BZScrapper
Crystal O. Minkler - Tawny Owl Paperie

Thanks so much for joining us again as we create our holiday cards each month to beat the December rush !! Have you been inspired to start your holiday cards along with us ?? We'd love to hear from you if you have !! Please take care, stay safe and we will see you back here in June ..

Debra Davison / Meticulosity

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Coffee & Cards with Deb & Celeste / May 2021

Celeste & I have been a great team for the past almost 5 years !! We have been doing this collaboration since October 2016 .. We choose a theme, color combination, sketch or technique every month and then each make a project .. This month I asked Celeste to choose both our collaboration and which Sunday to post . When she told me we would be using stencils, I immediately regretted that decision - LOL ... I own some pretty cool stencils but rarely use them. So I was heading straight out of my comfort zone . BUT it turned out to be a good thing and I am grateful to Celeste for encouraging me to try something different .  I actually love how my card turned out .. It is a representation of my perfect day !!! A book in my hand and a cup of coffee..

What a Perfect Day

  • I stamped Ellie Girl by Angie Blom  for Unity Stamp Company with Gina K Jet Black Amalgam Ink  on Mixed Media paper . 
  • I also stamped her on a piece of pale green patterned paper .
  • The girl was fussy-cut, then colored with my COPICS. 
  • I also fussy-cut her shirt from the green paper and adhered it to the other stamped image.
  • I cut a piece of the Mixed Media paper to fit the front of my cream A2 card base.
  • Pixie Spray was used on a mandala stencil from .I don't think that exact stencil is still available but they have a variety of other designs.
  • I positioned the stencil on the edge of the Mixed Media paper, using only half of the mandala. The Pixie Spray adheres the stencil to your paper and is repositionable. It also won't tear your paper or leave a sticky residue..
  • Distress Ink Pads were used to create the mandala - Tumbled Glass, Wild Honey and Abandoned Coral. 
  • I also placed a few gems and rhinestones near the center area of the mandala.
  • The stenciled design was adhered to my card base with the center area of the mandala towards the right side of the base.
  • The girl was adhered to the left side of the stenciled area. 
  • The sentiment was adhered to the upper right side of the card .

I'm excited to see Celeste's stenciled project . You can see what she has created over at her blog - Crafting Junky . A big thank-you to her for challenging me - it paid off .. I'M wondering what kind of coffee she will be drinking for this month's post .. I am having some  delicious Honey Blueberry coffee in a new cup that I got myself for Mother's Day .. I love tattoo designs and this cup was perfect .. 

Thank you for stopping by to see what Celeste and I are up to this month. We look forward to seeing you in June. Take care, stay safe and until then, Stay Creative !!

Debra Davison / Meticulosity

Friday, April 30, 2021

A Creative Bibliophile - April 2021

I will admit that I have had a problem lately finding a book that keeps my attention .. I haven't had a problem finding books I want to read, but then I just can't seem to get into them and stay interested !! In the past I used to feel like I had to finish every book that I started .. But now there are too many on my To Read list - so I just close that book and move on to another.. This month I will tell you about 3 books - one I read and loved, one I started and wish I could have loved and one that I am loving now..

I came across a stamp set from 2016 when I was searching for something else ( and that happens every day !! ).It was perfect for my post .. I stamped the images from Coffee Donuts Friends by Darcie's Heart & Home onto 3 bookmark-sized pieces of mixed media paper with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink . The images were colored in with my COPICS. I added some book-themed and floral washi to the bookmarks and then adhered them to another layer of mixed-media paper to make them sturdier . As in previous posts, I also placed a piece of ledger paper on the back of the bookmarks for book lists, notes or reviews .

A book that I wanted to love is If I Disappear by Eliza Jane Brazier.  I waited months for this book from the library and after much anticipation, I could just not get into it. The storyline fascinated me - a true crime lover and podcast listener searches for her favorite true crime podcaster who has gone missing .. I tried reading it several times and it never pulled me in .. I am keeping it until the due date and might try again, but no promises ..

I am sure many of my fellow readers are familiar with Jojo Moyes and her books.  I had actually never read any and one day this book - The Peacock Emporium - was the featured Nook book . I get e-mails daily with great deals on a particular book or sometimes a few titles. This one caught my eye and I bought it for $2.99 .

To look at this cover, you would never know that the book is about a coffee shop  - The Peacock Emporium. Full of characters, settings and details, this story begins in the 1960's and continues in 2001 with Suzanna Peacock . Her Emporium serves as the backdrop for several storylines with an eclectic cast of characters. Suzanna's mother Athene begins the book with her role as 'the Last Deb" and is a complex, spoiled character who lays the foundation for the rest of the story. At times, I did wonder how certain elements were going to tie together, but I feel that Moyes did a great job with that . I was drawn in to the cast of characters and looked forward to finding out where the book took them. The legacy of Suzanna's mother is a large part of this book, coloring many aspects of the storylines. I enjoyed learning the "real" story of their mother/daughter relationship. It was surprising and not at all predictable. I now have a few other books of hers on my TBR list - The Giver of Stars is at the top . An interesting fact - her book Me Before You was made into a movie starring Emilia Clarke .. A real tearjerker - I loved it !!

A book that I am reading now and loving is The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James . This is a ghost story about a woman who disappeared from the Sun Down Motel in 1982 and her niece who decides to try to find out what happened to her in 2017 . She actually gets a job at the same hotel --- sooooooooo, what could go wrong ?!?!?!  Let's just say that I do not read this book in bed at night .. It was sent to me by a fellow book lover and I started it but never got too far into it ... Not sure why, but I think I put it into one of my book bags and forgot it was there !!!

I hope you have enjoyed my book craziness this month !! Leave me a comment about a book you loved or one you hoped you would love but didn't or one you are loving now  - I'll randomly choose one commenter and  send them one of my bookmarks .. Until next time, stay safe and keep on reading ...

Debra Davison / Meticulosity

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Crafty Elves' Countdown to Christmas / April 2021

April showers bring May flowers and that has certainly been true here in Virginia Beach.. But at least Spring is here, along with warmer weather and beautiful flowers. Brian has started planting in his raised beds out in the yard and I watch him from inside ( no green thumb here ) !! Michael, Lisa and I are back for your holiday inspiration and we even have a guest this month.. Have you been working on your holiday cards along with us ?? 

My first 2 cards are made with Close To My Heart stamp sets. They have fabulous stamps and I was lucky enough to get some great savings at their recent sales . I've been wanting to use these sets for awhile.

  • I stamped the deer and sentiment on Kraft  cardstock and the scarf on white watercolor paper, all with Gina K Jet Black Amalgam ink. This Winter Friends stamps is available with or without the matching dies ( but the cost WITH the dies is a steal !! ) .
  • I die cut the deer and trimmed the sentiment .
  • Snowflakes also from the Winter Friends set were stamped around the sentiment with blue ink.
  • I cut some Kraft cardstock to fit the  snowflake panel and laser cut from the Merry Laser Cut Card Pack ( which is 4 x 6 ) from Paper House Productions .
  • The deer and scarf were colored with my COPICS and then the scarf was adhered to the deer. 
  • The laser panel was adhered to the blue snowflake panel and then to the Kraft card base.
  • I popped up the sentiment in the upper left corner with foam dots .
  • The deer was adhered in the lower right corner.

  • The Christmas by Aimee Ferre stamp set is no longer available but I just had to use it for this card !! I stamped the mitten image on watercolor paper with Gina K Jet Black Amalgam ink , fussy-cut it then colored it with my COPICS.
  • On a piece of ledger paper, I brushed some Ranger Ink Stickles Nebula Glitter Gel . I used a wide paint brush to apply it across the center . This glitter gel has stars in it, which is very cool !!
  • I applied some washi tape across the top of the card panel.
  • The mitten was popped up with foam dots.
  • I adhered the completed panel to a cream card base.

Nebula Glitter Gel 

At a recent Sizzix clearance sale, I got some of the best dies !! This Folk Christmas Tree is very detailed and the card needed no sentiment, I just used a bit of washi .

  • I brushed some Nebula Glitter Gel across a piece of patterned tan paper then adhered it to a cream card base .
  • A strip of wide holly washi was placed down the left side of the card.
  • I die-cut the tree and planter and star from some metallic and textured cardstock .
  • The tree was adhered above the planter and then the star was attached with a foam dot.

Close-up of Nebula Glitter Gel

My last card was assembled with supplies from the  Tim Holtz Idea-ology  Christmas Noel collection from 2020 . I used the ephemera pack, worn wallpaper papers, layers, sticker book and milk caps. I love love love these supplies and used bits and pieces that reminded me of growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania . My aunt and uncle had a dairy farm nearby . We had coal delivered and later oil to warm our home . The ornaments on the paper are like those on out tree when I was little . Memories that bring a smile to my face .

I hope you are inspired to start on your holiday cards by seeing what we make each month . Please take a look at the cards made by Michael and Lisa too !!

As I mentioned earlier, we have a guest this month . Vannessa Osbourn has joined us before and her cards are always amazing . This one for today can be found at her IG page - vclaireo . She used a stencil and Distress Inks and has really created a masterpiece !! Please go to her IG page to find out all of the details .. Thanks so much for joining us again, Vannessa.

Thank you for stopping by Meticulosity ... Until next time, please stay safe and as always, Stay Creative ..

Debra Davison


Sunday, April 11, 2021

Coffee & Cards with Deb & Celeste /April 2021

Celeste and I are back for our April Coffee & Cards posts !! It is National Letter Writing Month so we decided to do a Snail Mail / Happy Mail post .. I send many letters and postcards every month to friends all over the world . But in April, I am in a group that assigns a penpal for the month, so I am sending even more snail mail than usual..  And this past year when we have all been spending much of our time at home and away from friends and loved ones, it's even more important to stay connected . It's always nice to see a letter from a friend in my mailbox. So, pick up a pen and some paper and write a note to someone.. You will make their brighter !!

I love all things snail mail - postage stamps, rubber stamps, paper, washi etc.. It was hard to choose a stamp set to use but I finally decided on Mr. Snailman from Trinity Stamps . The set includes a cute snail, sentiments and also stamps suitable for decorating your envelopes !!

Snail Mail - paper hug enclosed

Envelope Art

  • On a pink-pattered card base, I adhered a piece of envelope patterned paper from the sweet Lucky Charm paper pad from Dear Lizzy by American Crafts .
  • I stamped the snailman image on a piece of Solar White  cardstock and also on an April calendar panel from Graphic 45.
  • Snail Mail was stamped with Ladybug Memento ink.  The snail and sentiment were stamped with Gina K Jet Black Amalgam ink .
  • I fussy-cut the snail shell from the Neenah cardstock.
  • The images were colored with my COPICS.
  • I  created a border with a Martha Stewart border punch and a piece of vintage white ledger paper also from the Lucky Charm paper pad.
  • A strip of thin pink confetti washi was placed down the vintage white border.
  • I adhered the border down the left side of the card.
  • I popped up the Neenah cardstock snail shell on top of the snail with a foam tab.
  • The calendar panel was also popped up on the front of the card with foam tabs.
I also used several images from the Mr. Snailman stamp set to decorate the front of the envelope for this card . I always like to at least add some stickers or a stamped image to the front and back of my envelopes. Some of the envelopes I have received from friends are true works of art !!

I am sure that Celeste has created a fabulous Happy Mail card .. You can check out her post over at her blog - Stamping Junky ..Today I am drinking Twinkie coffee from a Mikasa cup. The pattern - Garden Gallery - is perfect for a gorgeous Spring day !!

I hope that you all are doing well and staying safe. Take care of yourself .. Thank you for visiting me once again  at  Meticulosity.. Until next time, Stay Creative !! And don't forget to let someone you know that you are thinking of them -  write a letter and send it off soon !!

Debra Davison / Meticulosity

Sunday, March 28, 2021

A Creative Bibliophile - March 2021

I read the most interesting book this month for my post . I actually read it on my phone using the Libby app which makes it so easy for me to have something to read at all times, wherever I have my phone .. It allows you to check books out of your library directly to your phone which is so convenient for bookworms like me !!

For my bookmark this month, I used the cutest digital stamp set from The Cat's Pajamas PaperArts - Bliss . I printed the image and sentiment on Neenah cardstock, fussy-cut the rabbit design and trimmed around the sentiment.  The sentiment was matted on a pale pink paper and adhered to a piece of floral designer paper above the fussy cut rabbit image.  I adhered that panel to a piece of Toned Grey Mixed Media paper. On the back of the bookmark is a piece of dotted green paper  where you can write a book list or book review etc. I also added some Glossy Accents to the eyeglass lenses.

Bliss : a good book, good coffee, great company

I'm actually only reviewing one book this month - Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks. I've started several but this is the only one I've completely finished .It's hard when I find so many that I like at one time, but that beats the alternative, which is not liking many that I have been excited to read !! And once I saw the cover, I was really drawn to this book ..

I also was intrigued even before I opened it because I had read that it was entirely written in lists. I am a bit of an OCD person and love lists. But I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy a whole book of lists - sounded rather boring to me but I was very wrong .. And pleasantly surprised !!

In this book, Daniel Mayrock owns a struggling bookstore, worries that his wife might still love her dead first husband and has issues with his father. It drew me in from the first page and I even laughed out loud many times. I really liked the character of Daniel and felt bad that he was struggling with so  much. He even makes some pretty stupid decisions and I still liked him !! The lists are written chronologically, telling a story over time. 
Some of his lists are -
  • Proof that I am stupid
  • Dan's Laws of the Universe
  • Facts about my marriage
  • 5 Problems with Lying
  • Days Without  ( Gum, Crying, Flossing ,  Little Debbie Snack Cakes etc.. )
For a novel written entirely in lists, I think the author really did a great job developing the characters. I felt like I knew them. I wanted things to work out for them. They got to me. It was an easy read and I'm interested to read his other books . I highly recommend this book . I hope that you will let me know if you have read this one and if so, what you thought about it. Do you think that a book of lists would be interesting to read ??

Leave me a comment on this post and I will choose 1 person randomly and send them the bookmark that I made this month. Are there any books that you would like to recommend to me to read and review ?? I'm always excited to add more books to my TBR list..

Until next time, Read a Book & Stay Creative !!

Debra Davison / Meticulosity