A Well Crafted Retirement

"Retire from work, but not from life." -M.K. Soni


Speedy Recovery Card

An old friend of ours is doing in-house rehab after a long illness.  So I’m sending him this card.  He grew up in the 50’s and loves classic cars so I thought this would suit him. The front of the card

Cartridge Used:

  • Give a Hoot
  • Nifty Fifties
  • Every Day Pop Up Cards
  • Plantin Schoolbook

Cut Sizes in Inches:

  • Gas Pump @ 3.0 (Nifty Fifties)
  • Car 1 @ 2.0 ( Nifty Fifties)
  • SpeedyRecovery @ 1.5 (Every Day Pop Up Cards)
  • Border page 46 @ 1.25 ( Give a Hoot)
The inside of the card.

The inside of the card.

Cuttle Bug:

  • Darice Simple Border

Additional Supplies:

  • tape runner
  • craft glue
  • a black Sharpie pen
  • a silver gel pen
  • a corner rounding punch

I used a paper cutter to cut the card at 6.5 x 10 from Cloud9Design double sided card stock.  The other papers I found in my scrap box to coordinate with the blue, green and cream stripes.  The dark blue rectangle  is 2.5 x 4 with the corners rounded.  The light blue horizontal stripe is 1 x 6.5 and embossed with the Cuttlebug to give the checkerboard design.  The copper stripe is .25 x 6.5.

When I cut the gas pump I found the tiny letters and silver details were to small to handle.  I used the very fine point of the Sharpie pen for the word “gas” and the silver gel pen for the hose details.  The green border I thought had a nice 1950’s vibe, but it was either too tall or not long enough.  The cut at 1.25 worked when I made two and covered the seam with the gas pump.

I cut the phrase in the dark blue and its shadow in the striped paper with the stripes running horizontally to mimic the lettering.  For the convertible I use red, light blue and white with the black bottom layer.  I cut the pop-up strip .25 x 5.5 and folded it at the 1 in., 1.5 in., 1 in., 1.5in. and .5 marks.  The method is the same as I used in the Baby Shower Card.  With all the pieces ready and the envelope cut from cream paper I assembled the card.


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Spring Bell Jars

Over the last few months I’ve found two nice sized bell jars.  I’ve seen a lot of beautiful centerpieces using them on Pinterest so I decided  to put three together for a spring grouping on my dining room table.

Spring Bell JarsI had several small spring items from other years that I gathered up.  I purchased a bag of preserved moss and a small wire candle wreath from JoAnn.  As I looked for items I payed attention to repeating colors.  The yellow bird in the nest, the yellow buds on the candle wreath and the yellow eggs help tie the three piece in a sense of relationship to each other.  The same is true with the pinks and greens.


  • Bell jars
  • Plates to set them on
  • Preserved moss
  • Spring items that will fit in the jars
  • scissors
  • sticky tack


I used clear glass plates from the dollar store as the bases for my bell jars.  I pulled the preserved moss apart and arranged it on my first plate.  I centered the bird’s nest with its’ bird and small flowers on the moss.  To keep it level I added more moss under the low spots on the bottom of the nest.  I had a few pussy willow tips that I cut to fit under the jar.  These I was able to stick into the nest without additional support because the nest worked a little like a flower frog and the sides of the jar keep them upright.  To keep the jar from slipping around on the plate I used a small piece of sticky tack along the rim in a few places.

For the second jar I again started with a bed of moss.  I used a small wooden birdhouse from my Stand Up Birds project and the candle wreath.  I bent the branches of the wreath upwards to fill in the space at the top of the jar but was careful not to cover the opening of the bird house.  Again a little sticky tack along the rim and I was done.

The third jar is egg shaped.  I bought it years ago and have used it for various things but what could be better than eggs!  My daughter Beth and I made paint-  and wax-decorated blown eggs many years ago.  I put a little moss on the bottom of the jar and arranged the eggs inside.  Done.


I think I like these jars because they spotlight small items that otherwise can go unnoticed.  The whole project took less than an hour including the time spent locating the various items that I used.


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Door Sign

Katie mentioned that when she took her Christmas wreath down their apartment door looked pretty dull.  I’ve had a few ideas for a craft project for her but when I ran across the pieces of a lightweight picture frame this week I deceided on a door sign.

Door SignHer apartment is neutral colored with dark wood trim and wood floors.  For a punch of color she has two bright turquoise area rugs and has added aqua accents.  So that determined my color choices.  I used Coordinations canvas texture and DCWV Blue Stained Glass.


  • Hoot ‘n’ Holler
  • Wrap it Up
  • Cricut Alphabet

Cut Sizes in Inches:

  • Owl Family @ 2.5 (Hoot ‘n; Holler)
  • Castle @ 3.75 (Wrap it Up)
  • R Place @ 2.0 (Crcut Alphabet)
  • Katie nd Dustin @ 1.5 ( Cricut Alphabet)

Cuttlebug Folders:

  • Cane Back Chair
  • Swiss Dots
  • Woodgrain

Additional Supplies:

  • a tape runer
  • craft glue like Aleene’s sMax Tacky Adhesive

The size I needed for the frame was 12 x 15.  I started with a full sheet of the 12 x 12 patterned paper.  I cut a 3.75 inch strip of the darker aqua and overlapped it on top of the print and used a glue runner to hold it n place.  To hide the seam  I found a pearly aqua paper in my scraps, cut it at 1 inch and embossed it with the Cane Back Chair border folder.  The brown  is a 9 inch square and the light aqua square is 8 inches.

I used the shadow feature with both sizes of letters.  To add more texture I embossed the brown letters with the Woodgrain folder.  The paper I used for the shadow on their names is a foil I found in a stack.  I discovered that if I used white glue to attach the letters to the shadow it came apart after drying!  So I did it again with Aleene’s.

The first layer of the castle is embossed with the Swiss Dots folder and the top layer I cut twice, once in the pearl and once in the foil and used the pearl for the front and the foil for the flag and tower tops.  The owl cut is for a family but since there are only the two of them I snipped the small owl off the branch.

Every thing went together with the glue runner.  This was a pretty simple project.  I think it will brighten up their door and hallway.