Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thanksgiving Crusade Gets Layered

I'm sure NONE of you knows ANYTHING about impulse purchases. No. You're all so restrained and sensible when it comes to craft purchases. You walk right past the Hero Arts Color Layering Fall Trees set and think, "Well, now isn't that pretty! But I don't need it so nope, nope, nopity-nope nope."

You're better people than I am.

Or perhaps not. Perhaps you DO know a thing or two about crafty temptation.

Isn't it delightful? Of course, it is.

Anyway. Here's my first successful card with this very cool set.

I can't tell you what joy it is to play around with every color of the rainbow with this set. Oh, my. I need more shades of ink for sure. Oh, wait. I did just order a whole bunch of Archival and Distress ink pads that should arrive early next week. Yay!

Abandoning myself to consumerist culture is so. much. fun.

Design Note
This image presents a design dilemma for the CAS stamper. Its size is both a bit too big and a bit too small to stand alone on a standard 4.25" x  5.5" one-layer card. The proportion of inked space to white space simply doesn't work as well. There must be something else to carry the design...layers, a ribbon, embellishments, something. My next experiment with this set will be to try it on a smaller note card...maybe 3 1/2" x 4 7/8", for which there are ready-made envelopes.  I'm hoping for success there, because, as much as I love these white-on-white layers, I really want this beautiful image and the colors it showcases to be the whole focus.

A Personal Note and My Soapbox
My plan was to finish this post last night while my son Jack was getting ready for bed. Nick, my older son, was going with a school group to see Jersey Boys, the Broadway touring show about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.Well, at 7:10, Nick called to tell me that some kids were no-shows, and the extra tickets could be used by parents who wanted to go. The only catch...the doors to the Schuster Center would close at 8:00. George couldn't go (he needed to get up extra early for work this morning) but I WAS ALL OVER THIS! After a mad dash into Dayton, I sprinted through the doors just before they closed, sat down amidst a bunch of teenagers (some of whom had no idea that Frankie Valli was a real person) and enjoyed a FABULOUS show. I got home way too late to blog about anything but my pillow.

What a great opportunity, but it revealed a serious shortcoming in our culture. How in the world are teens not learning about their parents' and grandparents' music? I grew up listening to my grandparents' favorites on vinyl played on a massive stereo cabinet that took pride of place in their small home and to my parents' favorites played on smaller stereos and 8-track tapes, and now there are my favorites, played via CD or bluetooth for my children much of their lives. Our elders' music becomes the soundtrack of our childhood.

We drag previous generations' music forward in this way, yet some children appear to be denied this heritage. It made me sort of sad, in a first-world kind of way.

And while we're on the topic of music, let me go on record (pun alert!) as saying that the Nobel committee's choice of Bob Dylan for the prize in literature was fabulous, and I'm not even a big Dylan fan. The objections to him smack of cronyism and snobbery, neither of which should carry any weight in the arts.

Whew. I feel better for having gotten all that off my chest. Thanks for listening. Or reading. Whatever we want to call this. Feel free to share your thoughts about the card, the design note, or my soapbox in the comments. I promise you I read and appreciate every comment!

Blessings to all. I'm off for a nap.

stamps: Hero Arts Color Layering Fall Trees, Clearly Besotted A Little Sentimental
ink: various Hero Arts and Archival
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Emboss Resist and Ribbon

There's a LOT of emboss resist with watercolor going around the magazines and blogs right now. And it's beautiful. So here are my efforts using these beautiful sentiments from Simon Says Stamp's set called For to Us. A technique and ribbon on two cards...what have I been drinking?!?!?

Coffee. And lots of it.

stamps: Simon Says Stamp For to Us
ink: clear embossing ink, various water-based inks (mostly StampinUp)
paper: watercolor 140lb
accessories: ribbon, craft foam, paint brush, hole punch (top card)

Monday, October 17, 2016

IC567, Take Two

My second stab at the Inspiration Challenge #567 at Splitcoast took a turn for the merry. My inspiration piece was THIS Thank-You CARD by tweedcurtain.

Tweedcurtain's card uses a watercolored multi-colored die cut over an antique handwriting background to fill the card, and a sentiment in darker ink nestled into the background. As with yesterday's card, I shrank the inspiring design to a smaller portion of the card to leave more room for white space because, well, I'm me. Since I don't have a die cut machine, it was simple enough to stamp the holly using a Kaleidacolor spectrum ink pad...not as colorful as the inspiration piece, but fitting nicely with my theme.

Then, where to put the sentiment? At first, I wanted to put the sentiment up near the berries...knew it would look weird on the top right where tweedcurtain's was. But the sentiment near the berries made the card unbalanced and top-heavy, so I shifted it to bottom right of the text area. Now, there's nice movement between those two strong spots of red and a much better sense of balance.

Tweedcurtain's lovely card is more organic and free-flowing than my linear card, but the influence is still plain to see. Thanks for the lovely inspiration!

stamps: Hero Arts Vintage Christmas Postage and Holiday Pine Branches
ink: Kaleidacolor green and red spectrum pads, Archival shadow grey 
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: water spritz bottle

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Inspiration Challenge #567

I love me some Inspiration Challenge over at Splitcoast Stamper. This week's challenge is to get inspired by Audrie's Pinterest board of her favorites from previous IC entries. I made two cards today based on this challenge and will post the second one tomorrow.

Today's card was inspired by this card by Julia Aston.

My version shrinks the design down (which gives the whole thing more white space) but keeps Julia's delightful sponged strip, black images, and double sentiment. The sponged strip uses Ranger Distress Ink broken china and water splatters (a direct mimic of Julia's inspiration with just a color change).

I love how the butterfly, stamped simply in Hero Arts intense black ink, reminds me of a glass butterfly. Isn't God amazing?


Click on over to the Inspiration Challenge and play along if you feel like it. It sure is fun!

stamps: Hero Arts Antique Engravings, Clear and Simple Thinking of You
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Distress Ink broken china, Hero Arts intense black
accessories: not a one

Friday, October 14, 2016

One to Three: Mistletoe and Holly

Sometimes, sets are designed with a whimsical sense of movement and fun. It's all in the line. Such is the case with Mistletoe and Holly from Essentials by Ellen and designed by Her Royal Rubberness Julie Ebersole.

One set.

Three cards.

Lots of movement to make a recipient merry.

Bling and gold outline on the raised panel add to the fun.

Stickles on the mistletoe berries gives this card
festive sparkle.

Gold Stickles didn't photograph very well but adds
festive sparkle to this very simple card. 

Have a beautiful weekend full of pumpkins and stamping!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

1 for 4: Clearly Besotted Holiday Sentiments

Let's take a look at the fabulous set called Holiday Sentiments from Clearly Besotted. Wow, did I have fun with this set or what?!?!

To get my creative juices flowing, I checked out some color pins on my Color My World board on Pinterest. I used this onethis one, and this one.

This combination of Memento Luxe nautical blue and Impress Fresh Ink
pool and basil is soft yet fun.

These natural colors of Hero Arts field greens, soft stone,
and stone washed, along with Archival library green, are earthy, soothing,
and perfect for a card emphasizing the season's message of peace.
I cut this card down a bit to fit the stamped panel.

This combination took a few tries to get the balance right. The colors
are Hero Arts soft pool and Memento lulu lavender and pear tart.
The pear tart is the strongest of these pastels, so it has to be the focal point.

This simple two-color card uses Memento Luxe Danube blue and
Impress Fresh Ink grass. As the only one-layer card of the bunch,
the card gains extra interest from its long, low size (3.5" x 6.5")
 and a single large bling, which pulls the whole thing together.

All four cards followed a basic pattern of stacked layers, which the set is perfectly designed for. Playing around with colors keeps this look fresh and provides endless variation. Since I experimented with the multiple color combinations on large scraps of card stock for the first three cards, I used white-on-white layers to create a "stacked" frame for the "stacks" of words and images. The results made me happy!

Once I'd put the rhinestone on the fourth card, however, I wondered what the two cards with holly would look like with blinged-out berries. I love the addition of a bit of shine to these cards.

Bling is beautiful!

Whew. That was a long post! Hope you like these cards...I sure do!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Another Fall Birthday Card...and I Used a Technique!

Gina K's set Sun-Kissed Autumn has outline images like yesterday's gorgeous leaves but it also has a block flower image that is so very gorgeous.

I colored the stamp directly with Memento markers using a pouncing technique. First, both blossoms are completely colored with dandelion, and then tangelo and lady bug markers are pounced onto the image at random. After a few spritzes with water, the colors blend a bit but still have a mottled effect that is just fabulously interesting.

I added a trio of bling, a red sentiment, and two mats of white card stock complete this crisp, colorful, autumnal card.

This card went to live with a dear friend whose birthday was today. It's always so joyful to give a special creation to a special friend.

Happy Thursday!

stamps: Gina K Sun-Kissed Autumn, Papertrey Birthday Basics
ink: Archival red geranium
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: Memento markers (dandelion, tangelo, lady bug, bamboo leaves), water spritz bottle, rhinestones