Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Little Askew That Works for Me, and a Placement Point

Today's card is a little askew...just enough to add interest, not enough to disturb me. And seriously, check out all that white space!!!! Does my heart good.

Here are a few points to note.

1. uncbballfan commented that the askew inspiration card reflects its message...grief makes everything feel askew. Christmas, as I said in my first askew post, isn't askew. Today's card is destined for my former pastor, who is "moving up" in the United Methodist Church. She's a beautiful soul with a heart of gold. So the red poppy with the gold center on an upward incline seems very, very appropriate.

2. I've put a gold center on this exact flower image before but used real gold leaf. It was gorgeous but time-consuming, and this time I used a gold Gelly Roll pen, let the ink dry, and love the look! So very, very easy and with a $1.99 tool. Yay!

3. The above card is actually the second version I made of the card. Below is the first version. I liked it, but notice how high up the poppy is on the stamped panel. It looks like it'll tip over and fall off the panel or roll backward off the panel. (That's not exactly the message I was aiming to send my pastor!) It's completely unstable. The second card places the poppy lower on the panel, with a larger spread across the edge. It's grounded, secure, strongly placed.

Placement matters. What do you think?

stamps: Concord & 9th Wild Flowers, Clearly Besotted A Little Sentimental
ink: Hero Arts red royal, black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: craft foam, glue, gold metallic Gelly Roll pen

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

All is "Right" Except One Corner

After making yesterday's skewed card, I wanted to try the same layout with proper right angles. The holly card had lots of movement from the shape of the holly branches. This card relies on fun color and whimsical images. And bling!

I decided to round that one corner because it looked sort of dangerous, like it wanted to poke the flowers in their bloomers. But one of my readers (yes, you, Bev) is likely twitching right now.

While the border on this card makes me very happy, I'm not so sure about the offset sentiment panel. It's sort of strange how much I love the card that inspired this whole series, yet I can't seem to make skewed design or the asymmetry work for me. I guess I'm just too obsessive-compulsive.

Still, I wanted to share both yesterday's and today's cards to illustrate creative exploration of an idea. You learn when you play, and in the immortal words of Adam Savage (of Mythbusters), failure is always an option. Sometimes, "failure" can still be quite lovely! Some of you really liked yesterday's card, and I hope some of you feel the same about today's.

Tomorrow's card takes a different tack on the idea altogether, and I like it much better!

stamps: Papertrey Doodlie-Do, Keep It Simple Thank You
ink: Fresh Ink tangerine, basil; Memento Moroccan, espresso truffle
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: corner rounder, craft foam, glue, rhinestones

Monday, July 25, 2016


Have you ever Googled the word "askew"? Give it a go in another tab and come back.

Isn't that just fabulous?!?! It makes the whole internet worthwhile, I think.

Anyway, I've noticed lots of cards with a layer lined up on two edges (usually top and left) but askew on the card. Like this beautiful card here.

So I decided to give it a try with my new Christmas set from Clearly Besotted. What do you think?

While I love the white space and the movement of the border, I can't love the panel being askew. A search page on Google...that's a fine visual joke. But for me, Christmas isn't askew. So for the next few days, I will share a few cards that riff off this idea without going so askew. The results made me happier because I'm just a tiny bit obsessive-compulsive.

Do you do askew on your cards?

stamps: Clearly Besotted
ink: Fresh Ink mojito, Memento Luxe love letter
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: craft foam, glue

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Woe and Whoa!

Today was the last Sunday for our pastor at our church. In a month, our new pastor will be here, and I'm certain she will be a blessing to us all as Suzanne has been. In the interim, we have many gifted lay persons who will preach. But woe is the word for today. I spoke at both services, sharing what I've learned from Pastor Suzanne in nine years of Bible study...and embarrassed myself in front of everyone.

Some very wise, compassionate person made sure we had boxes of tissues in every pew. I wasn't the only one crying. That comforts me.

Grieving for someone who is alive, well, and moving up in the church feels right. After all, she's been a beloved fixture in my life for nearly a decade. I'm grieving, and yet I'm thrilled God has put her in a position to grow and use other gifts.

So woe is me, but go, God!

When I got back from church, I checked the Inspiration Challenge at SCS and found some wonderful fun to distract me from my woe. The challenge is Bowls...and whoa! There are some amazing bowls out there. My inspiration came from THIS PIN. This card was the result:

From the inspiration bowl, I took the color scheme (at least the dark shade looks navy on my iPad...on my computer it looks black, though), the combination of outline and block image, the leaf theme, and the glorious abundance of white space.

I love the combination of outline and block image, and the handwritten cursive script of the sentiment, not to mention its French-ness, make me very happy.

Merci for reading my blog, for putting up with maudlin mood, and for all the comments and emails.

stamps: Concord & 9th Wild Flowers, Clear and Simple sentiment
ink: Hero Arts navy, lime
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: craft foam, glue

Friday, July 22, 2016

Inspired Butterflies

Have you ever looked at a card on a blog or Pinterest and thought, "I want to make that! It's perfect!"? And then have you realized that making this delightfully perfect card requires special tools or stamps that you don't have? Have you put your thinking cap on and tried to troubleshoot the shortcomings in your stash and realized that your second-tier measures will look, well, second tier? Have you ever then thought, "Meh. I'll move on"?

Well, don't.

Even if you can't get exactly the same look as the delightfully perfect card, you CAN improvise in creative ways that lead to a bit different, yet still wonderful, card.

I saw THIS CARD by Yana Smakula on Pinterest. Everything about Yana's card is perfect: the white-on-light-gray layering; the bright, happy colors; the fresh layout; the gobs and gobs of white space; the placement of bling; the bubbles. Those stamps, new this summer from Hero Arts, are also perfect.

But if you'll notice, Yana uses the coordinating dies for her project. Ahem. Stymied. No way on earth could I fussy cut any images well enough to make my layered pieces look as perfect as Yana's. And we all know that with clean-and-simple designs, any little imperfection is glaringly obvious.

Yana's card made me waver in my resolve to never go down the very expensive path paved with the ghosts of dies bought and unused (which would be my path, I assure you!). Then, I got to thinking.

And tinkering.

And messing around.

And feeling my way forward.

And then, this card happened.

Now, my card lacks some of what makes Yana's so perfect: the artfully stacked layers, the perfectly placed blue shell that creates perfect asymmetry, the bubbles. But I compensated for the lack with a few touches of my own that add interest and design goodness.

First, I simplified to two images of butterflies rather than attempt the layering, while still incorporating Hero Arts layering stamps (butterflies instead of sea creatures).

Second, since I couldn't add dimension with layering, I trimmed my stamped panel smaller and left the tips of the wings for fussy cutting. The clumsiness of my fussy cutting isn't nearly so obvious when there's so little of it on the card! To leave those wing tips overhanging, I used a quilting ruler and craft knife, cutting up to the wing on either side, and then using the knife free-hand to fussy-cut the wing tips.

Third, I used two shades of pink for bling instead of the clear Yana used. On her card, clear gems made sense, but I needed the gems to carry more design weight and thus used two sizes and twho colors to add interest.

Fourth, stamping the butterfly bodies in black subtly unifies the whole design, pulling together the images and the sentiment. It also creates some fun lines and movement, don't you think?

Fifth, rounding two opposite corners implies more movement.

Sixth, the white is layered on white. Because I made it, and that's just what I do.

The end result...a flattish card that compensates with movement, line breaks, color, and bling.

Thank you, Yana, for a wonderful inspiration card!

stamps: Hero Arts Color-Layering Butterflies
ink: Hero Arts, Ancient Page
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, corner rounder, quilting ruler, craft foam, glue

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Scraplet, Versions 3.0 and 3.1

The first Scraplet card is here, and 2.0 is here

My third variation on the inspiration piece changed the color scheme again and incorporated the metallic marker border (just in silver this time). This Christmas card is vaguely patriotic with a blue snowflake and red sentiment.

Now, as I looked at the card, it seemed that something was missing. The silver border seemed festive enough, but that snowflake looks a tad flat, with a matte finish no real snowflake ever had. Of course, that stamp doesn't show a "real" snowflake, nor have I ever seen blue snowflakes, so verisimilitude isn't exactly my goal. Bling seemed to be in order.

One rhinestone perks this card up nicely!

Never underestimate the power of bling.

So now you've seen three different versions of a single layout. Which was your favorite?

stamps: Papertrey Snowflake Serenade, Side by Side Sentiments
ink: Hero Arts pool, red royal
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestone, silver Prismacolor metallic marker, craft foam, glue

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Scraplet, Version 2.0

It's so much fun to play around with a layout and see what sort of different looks you can get from it. Today's card riffs on yesterday's card for a completely different, autumnal feel.

Yesterday's lime card was monochromatic, and today's incorporates complementary colors of red (orangish) and green (olive-ish) with dark brown and a copper border. Adding the border defines the space much more clearly...without it, the open wreath looked odd. But the effect creates a completely different feel from the borderless lime card.

Same layout, but different feel. Tomorrow, Scraplet, Version 3.0.

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Memento bamboo, Ancient Page henna, VersaMagic jumbo java
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: craft foam, glue, copper metallic marker, ruler