Saturday, August 1, 2015

OLS19 and UYH and Thanksgiving Crusade, Combined

This month's One-Layer Simplicity Challenge, hosted by the super-talented Karen Dunbrook, is titled "Strip Down"! We're to mask a strip down the side of a card and do something creative with it...totally fun!

Stamping naked is completely optional. *wink*

For my card, I also used a supply that I haven't used in FOREVER...watercolor pencils. So this qualifies for my Use Your Hoard Challenge. Here's what I did.

Washi tape makes a great mask for your strip...just make sure you stick it to your clothes a couple of times before putting it on the paper. That way, it won't rip the paper when you pull it up.

Using Derwent watercolor pencils in yellow, orange, and red, I scribbled color onto the watercolor paper. Then, using a water-brush, I blended the three colors.

Fabulous color!

The finished card made me so happy. It's tall and thin (7.25" x 3.75" I think) to fit some odd-sized envelopes hanging around my craft space.

This Thanksgiving/Fall card gets me good and started for the Thanksgiving Crusade, which will officially kick off in September. For newbies to Simplicity, every year I encourage readers to make thanksgiving or gratitude cards to send to friends, family, and anyone for whom you are grateful. It's a great way to save Thanksgiving from the commercial chaos and conspicuous consumption of Halloween and Christmas.

I hope you'll join us for Karen's One-Layer Simplicity Challenge this month. Remember that you can submit as many entries as you like through the 24th of the month.

And if you do stamp naked, make sure the curtains are closed. We don't want to be responsible for indecency charges....

stamps: Simon Says, Papertrey
ink: Memento
paper: Windsor & Newton 90lb watercolor paper
accessories: washi tape (for mask), rhinestones, watercolor pencils, water brush

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Another Triptych Card...and a Tip for Heat Embossing

Remember my triptych cards inspired by Sharon Schuman? Well, here's another one:

Folded size: standard 5.5" x 4.25"

The washi and embossing are gold, and that monochromatic scheme really unifies this card. To put it in the card, I'll zig-zag fold it with the angel on top.

Problems with Warped Paper from a Heat Gun?
Have you ever noticed how heat embossing tends to warp the paper. You might imagine the effect his has on my mildly obsessive mind. When I finished making this card, it was all buckled and warped from the heat gun, which made adding the tape difficult. Ugh. So I put waxed paper between the folds (to keep the gold embossing from sticking...although I don't know that it would stick...better safe than sorry!) and put the card and waxed paper between two squares of plywood. Two five-pound dumb-bells went on top, and then, honestly, I forgot about it until today, when I noticed the cheapo press in the corner of my craft nook. The card is now flat and perfect.

Next time, I'll press the panels before putting on the tape. That will be MUCH easier!

stamps: PSX angel and joy sentiment; Papertrey Keep It Simple Merry Christmas
ink: VersaMark
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: extra-fine gold embossing powder, heat gun, gold washi tape, plywood-and-dumb-bell press

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I Got Happy Mail!!!!

Some days, you go to the mailbox and it's full of bills, catalogs, credit card applications, coupons you don't need, and a bunch of wasps.

Okay, maybe that last one is just me. We've really had a wasp problem this year, and after about 50 nests were taken off our house, the little stingers moved into the mailbox. I know they are God's creatures, but they don't belong in my mailbox. Spiders in my craft nook and wasps in my mailbox. Two more words for you: chemical warfare.

Anyway, yesterday, I got the happiest mail I've received in a quite a while. The package came on just the perfect day to give me a much-needed boost, and it came all the way from the Netherlands!


I just had to share Brechtje's beautiful package with you. First up, she sent a lovely thank-you crisp and clean and pretty!


In the card, she also explained that she's started making her own paper and is incorporating really cool napkins into the paper for artwork. She gifted me with a set of four cards made from her handmade paper! These blew. my. mind. So incredibly tactile and beautiful!!! The soft texture, the gorgeous rough deckled edges, and the bright colors make my CAS-lovin' heart go pitter-patter!

I wish you could feel the edges of this paper. Oh, my!

The colors glow, don't they?

In this photo, you can really see the texture of the paper.

These boxes almost look embroidered. So cool!

The drop shadow on the leaves adds dimension.


Brechtje included blue tulips to honor her home town of Delft.

So pretty!

All this goodness was enclosed in a fabulous envelope made of what feels
like wallpaper, stitched on two sides and sealed with washi tape.
*happy sigh*

Thank you so much, Brechtje. So much!!

The thoughtfulness of Brechtje's words and the beauty of her art touched me and inspired me. I hope they inspired you, too!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Another Tree Set

In my most recent order, I picked up a set from Simon Says called Giving Thanks...which has a tree in it. Have I mentioned lately how much trees appeal to me? Well, they do. A lot.

Isn't that a neat-looking tree? Sure it is! Now, if you click on the link above and take a look at the set, you'll see that there's a single stamp that has all the leaves the tree needs, as well as several individual or small groups of leaves. To make this card, I stamped the large foliage stamp first in Memento tangelo ink, and then, using Memento Morocco ink, I over-stamped random leaves with the individual leaf stamp. The variations in color look so pretty!

To make the hill, I masked the tree trunk, inked part of the long sentiment in the set after putting it on the acrylic block in the curved shape, and stamped. Adding a few random fallen leaves draws attention to the sentiment. Yay!

And of course bling. The curve of the hill is echoed in the single curved corner of the raised panel and highlighted by a little arch of bling.

Some people hate autumn and might find this card depressing. I love autumn...really love it deep in my bones. It's the season of pumpkin-spice everything, cool days, bright blue skies, multi-colored leaves, apple pies, and Thanksgiving. Given the hot, humid days we've been having in Ohio, thoughts of fall are a happy meditation!

And that's all I have to say about that.

stamps: Simon Says Giving Thanks
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, corner rounder, dimensionals

Monday, July 27, 2015

Getting Punchy for Christmas

Some people like making lots of cards in a single design. I am not one of those people. Making multiples makes me itchy and irritable. But when I finished this particularly punchy Christmas card, I quickly made four more while the colored card stock was still out on my desk.

Those two shades of green and two different punches set off with a festive red bow quietly represent Christmas in all that glorious white space! Design-wise, I especially like the asymmetry of this ensemble...such a small arrangement, yet so interesting and balanced.

To attach the bow, I put a dot of liquid glue on the top of the leaves, laid the knot of the bow on the dot, and held it down with an acrylic block until it dried completely. That should (hopefully) hold the thing together.

stamps: Clearly Besotted
ink: SU real red
paper: SU garden green, unknown lime, Papertrey white
accessories: red embroidery floss, glue pen, fern punch, leaf punch

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Happy Happy Birthday

For some reason, yesterday's stamping session resulted in a lot of botched efforts at lining up stamps from Clearly Besotted's Geometric Style. I couldn't stamp straight to save my life. So when one thing's not working, try something else!

The triangles were stamped on a scrap of white card stock, cut out after the Memento Luxe black ink dried, and popped up on dimensionals. The bling went under the corners of the triangles, which were spaced close but not touching.

The sentiment is from of their big sentiment sets from a few years back. It's so easy to ink it with two separate colors at once.

And on a creepy note, I just killed about eight cellar spiders in my craft nook. Ewwww. Now I feel like their relatives are crawling on me. Must redirect my thoughts away from the eight-legged nightmares!

stamps: Clearly Besotted Geometric Style, Papertrey sentiment, Hero Arts alphabet
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Hero Arts soft pool, orange soda; Memento Luxe black
accessories: scissors, dimensionals, orange rhinestones

Friday, July 24, 2015

Points and Curves

Just a Reminder...You can like Simplicity by LateBlossom on Facebook and get links to new posts in your Facebook Feed!

Today's card exploits one of the principles of design: angles love curves. This stamp, from Clearly Besotted's Geometric Style set, gets repeated in shades of blue for a curvy, angled birthday card!

I hope you have a great weekend!

stamps: Clearly Besotted Geometric Style, Papertrey Birthday Basics
ink: Memento summer sky, Danube blue; Hero Arts corn flower
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dimensionals, Corner Chomper