All the Good Things…

Finally, it is September! This is the anniversary month of the start of my crafty card making journey. It’s been a whole year since I made my first handmade greeting card. Although I’m super stoked about this milestone, there is something else that I am much more excited about… STAMPtember over at Simon Says Stamp!!!!

Picture from

This is the craft SALEebration of the year! So many new and exclusive craft collaboration products will be released this month. And with crafters from around the globe waiting to see what’s coming next, I fully expect things to sell out quickly. Of course, I’ve already made a few purchases, and there’s even more on my wishlist.

Picture from

Picture from

Here is a couple things that I have purchased already. I’ll start with my most wanted crafting goody… the PAWSITIVELY SATURATED INK PADS! This is a set of 15 dye inks that can be used for a plethora of coloring techniques. I am already a big fan of these SSS ink pads. The colors are rich and pigmented; they stamp and blend beautifully. All the videos I’ve seen on YouTube, featuring these new ink pads, seem to show the inks performing extremely well. I can hardly wait to get them in my hands!

Now, I’m not a big Christmas card maker. However, this background stamp HAND-LETTERED HOLIDAY is so beautiful that I want to send a card to everyone I know! I don’t know exactly what it is that I like about this stamp – the sentiments, the handwriting, the size – but I do LIKE it very much. I can see myself mass-producing Christmas cards with this stamp, and by combining it with some other stuff from my stash, I will have some really awesome Christmas cards this year!

Picture from

To get everything that I want during STAMPtember, I would have to win the lottery or become the beneficiary of a generous gajillionaire. Since I don’t see either one of those things happening this month, I guess I’ll have to buy a little at a time. During STAMPtember, the collaborative releases are only available in limited quantities, and will not be restocked. Those items have to be purchased as soon as possible or not everything will be available. I’m going to miss out on a lot of this stuff, but I still want to share what’s on my wishlist….

I hope you get a chance to do some shopping during this month-long crafting party! I know that I am looking forward to seeing the new releases scattered throughout the month. To keep up with all the happenings for STAMPtember, head over to or subscribe to their blog at for the most up-to-date information.

Happy Crafting!!!

Advice for beginner card makers that I didn’t follow… but I wish I had!

By now you know that I’m new to the craft of card making. I stumbled across a card making video on YouTube in September 2020 (ever heard of Stamptember?) and I decided then and there that card making was going to be my new crafting jam! I started with absolutely nothing… no knowledge, no experience, no supplies. Like most enthusiastic newbies, I ran to the nearest craft store and picked up the cheapest supplies I could find, and started making cards. Well, I don’t know that those initial creations could be classified as “cards” but you get what I’m saying. I was off to the card making races.

Photo by Pixabay on

I should kinda back up for a second… before I went to the store, I binge-watched countless videos for beginner card makers. Experienced, knowledgeable card makers were doling out lots of advice to help newbies like me avoid the pitfalls of card making that they had endured. But in classic beginner-level fashion, I heeded none of their advice. “Hello, pitfalls! I’m Adrian, and I’m new here….” Today I want to share just 5 pieces of advice that I heard, didn’t heed, but wish I had…

If I had listened to this piece of advice, I would have avoided countless hours of frustration and disappointment. This was in regards to buying ink pads, but it really can be applied to just about anything in crafting.

When I was learning how to stamp, the process was horribly messy and I became quite discouraged when I couldn’t produce a single crisp, clean impression. I was using really cheap silicon stamps from Amazon (no negative reflections on any sellers and retailers) and spongy, squishy ink pads from Walmart. It was a recipe for disaster.

It wasn’t until I purchased my first photopolymer stamps and quality dye inks from MayMay Made It and Gina K. Designs that I started to fully enjoy my new crafty hobby. I was so surprised by the difference the quality products made in my card making. It was well worth it to spend a few extra dollars to get good quality supplies for crafting, and I will always go for the good stuff!

Card Making Supplies, photo courtesy of Adrian Mackey

This may seem like weird advice to give someone, but trust me, it makes so much sense to me now. My favorite color is green, closely followed by blue. Any shade of green (or blue) will automatically catch my eye. This is truly evident when looking at my craft stash of colored supplies like card stock, inks, glitter and even my scissor grips. I have more supplies in these two colors than any other hue of the rainbow. I love looking at all the stuff I have in those colors, but that is not too helpful when I want to create something that requires more than green and blue. I had nothing in orange or yellow. You can’t have a complete rainbow without those colors. Now I am more intentional when purchasing colored supplies, and my stash is growing in a more color-balanced way.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on

I was a professional makeup artist for over 20 years. Brand loyalty was the name of the game. This followed me into crafting. I would buy stamps, dies, inks, paper, tools, etc., from the same place/brand all the time. No matter how many different stamp sets they put out, the styles, themes, images and layouts were all the same. Everything I did looked the same. Then a crafty friend suggested some other brands to me, and that was when things really got fun! I love the variety. I love the eclectic feel of my craft stash. There’s a little bit of everything in there. Now, I seek out new (or at least new to me) supplies from a plethora of brands, big and small. Once again, I’m building my collection in a more balanced way.

Supplies from Altenew, Hero Arts, Ranger and Michaels, photo courtesy of Adrian Mackey

Now this piece of advice will require a bit of unpacking… This was originally referring to ink pads. However, for me, it is about so much more. First, it was good advice regarding my creative space. I had just moved into a new house, but did not have a lot of space for a craft room. If you watch the “craft room tour” videos on YouTube like I do, it can be a little disappointing and intimidating to see all the gorgeousness of these craft rooms online, and then have to look at your small space and not be able to deck it out like you saw in the videos. But I was able to start with just a table and chair in an empty corner. My storage consisted of a few bins from the Dollar Tree, tucked under the table for safe keeping. I was able to utilize that small space to the fullest!

This advice is also relevant when it comes to social media. I see so many creative craft pages with only a few subscribers/followers. This can be disheartening when you’re trying to reach a much bigger audience. Even for me, the slow growth of my social media platforms has been a little lackluster. Getting this blog started and getting people to subscribe has been more than challenging. But I keep reminding myself of one of my favorite scriptures, Zechariah 4:10, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” Just keep doing the work that’s right in front of you, and trust the growing process to bring the increase.

Photo by Anete Lusina on

The final piece of advice that I wish I had followed was this: You don’t have to buy everything all at once, or even buy it at all. Had I just listened to this, I would probably have a few more coins than I currently have in the bank. Remember when I said that I started with nothing? Well, I was not exaggerating. I had no ideas, crafting tools or supplies before September 2020. When I made up my mind to start crafting, I jumped in with both feet. Before card making, I am embarrassed to admit how much money I spent “finding my crafting niche,” but I will say this, my 401K is now probably more like 199A. I was totally reckless when it came to spending money on my crafting hobby. I first started with making DIY home decor. I cannot tell you how many wooden signs, glass candle holders, hot glue guns and glue sticks, paints and brushes, and all the other trappings required to make stuff for your home, at which I threw my money. I quickly got bored because it just wasn’t my thing. Then I tried wreath making. There are probably forty wire wreath forms hanging on the wall in my craft room because I just had to have those $1 forms. I was going to make a ton of wreaths and everybody was going to want one. Except, that did not happen either. Insert eye roll… I also bought a couple of Cricut machines, and all the blanks, pens, blades, tools, vinyl and every other thing you can think of for crafting with the Cricut. And a great deal of the stuff I bought is sitting in boxes in my storage room. Money wasted… Ok, so it is not totally wasted because I did learn some valuable lessons. But I’d still rather have the money.

As this applies to my card making hobby now, well let’s just say that I have had to learn that I don’t need nor can I afford every new craft release. I cannot tell you how many stamp sets, markers, paints, this new thing and that new thing that I have spent my money on and never even taken it out of the packaging. It’s overwhelming. Every week, a company is releasing the next great thing in card making, and I want it all! At one point, I was buying things so fast, I was duplicating items because I could not keep up with what I had bought. This got old really quickly. I had to put a stop to my spending. Now, I have a budget, a relatively small budget of $50 a month, to spend on crafting. That means, I miss out on a lot of shiny new crafty goodies. But it also means that I can save more money, and that makes me a happy crafter!

Photo courtesy of Adrian Mackey

I hope you’ve found this short list of advice for beginner crafters helpful. Even if you’re not a beginner, you may need to heed some of this above advice. We can all benefit. Please take the time to share your advice with me in the comments. I’d like to know what you wish you had listened to when you first started crafting.

Have a great day and make something wonderful!


For my first project, I wanted to share a card that I made for an Instagram Hop in July 2021. I was honored to be asked to participate in an anti-racism campaign with so many other crafters.

“Stop the Spread” by Adrian Mackey for Handmade Homemades

I started this card by ink blending Gina K. Designs PREMIUM DYE INKS in Sandy Beach, Kraft, Honey Mustard, Warm Cocoa, Dark Chocolate and Charcoal Brown, over the SLIMLINE WAVE stencil from Simon Says Stamp – onto a panel of Neenah Classic Crest card stock in Ultra Smooth Solar White and mounted on a panel of GKD card stock in CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE. The background is splattered with GOLD GLITTER shimmery spray.

“Stop the Spread” by Adrian Mackey for Handmade Homemades

The POWER TO THE PEOPLE stamp set from Hero Arts provide the perfect protester with an anti-racism sign; I then used my Cricut Joy to design and cut out the sentiment at the bottom of the card in gold foil card stock from Michaels. The finished panel was then mounted on a mini slimline card base in black, and dressed up with gold embellishments from PinkFresh Studios.

The sentiments for the inside of the card and the matching envelope came from the BIG & BOLD ~ BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL stamp set from Colorado Craft Company.

“Stop the Spread” by Adrian Mackey for Handmade Homemades

Making this card was such a pleasure for me! I hope you like it, too.

I will list all the products used for this card down below. I use affiliate links when possible, using these links to purchase awards me a small commission. Items used in this video are all purchased by me. If and when an item is sent to me, I will denote that by using ** next to the item.

Follow me on Instagram @handmade_homemades