Monday, August 13, 2018

My New Obsession

No stamping today, but here's a little glimpse of what's been keeping me from my craft desk.

Today was college-prep intensive, with a new adjunct orientation (including an active shooter video from campus police); getting a faculty ID card, mailbox, and locker (since adjuncts don't get offices); and a visit to human resources. Oh, and a stop at Starbucks. Which is in the library.

Isn't that heavenly?

I also got the key to my classroom on the main campus.



This level of technology in the classroom is completely new for me. I do NOT like how the monitors divide up the class. As a vertically-challenged individual, I worry that students won't even be able to see me or hear me. Oh, well. We will make it work. Somehow. Maybe I can ask George to make a box for me to stand on.

Would the symbolism of getting my getting up on a soapbox be counter-productive?

One thing gave me confidence, however. I turned on the computer and projector, logged into my account, and synced the monitor and projector properly on the first try. Like. A. Boss.

Now, if only it works so well on the first day of class....

With classes starting next Monday, my next task is developing the syllabus for the two classes, which I can finally begin because my computer account is fully up-to-date.

Oh how joyous it is to plan a semester again!

Thanks for your understanding in this time of transition.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan





Sunday, August 12, 2018

An Unexpectedly Long Break

Well, that was an unexpectedly long break from blogging. I missed y'all so much! Lots of good stuff going on in life to keep me from stamping and blogging about it, though. Not enough hours in the day to get all the good stuff done. What a blessing!

So finally, here's the last of my poinsettia die cards.


My favorite aspect of this card is the bling. Those pale yellow rhinestones brighten the red and provide a lovely contrast.




I also love how the curvy label with two points and the pointy poinsettias with curvy petals work together. It's a simple card, but there's lots going on.

And now I have something for you to think about.

Some people have already started complaining about a rumor that Starbucks is going to sell pumpkin spice lattes early this year. Other people don't like seeing Christmas cards in August. I don't like seeing Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving. We all have peeves regarding timing of things, don't we?

Social media can be a horrible place. Don't let anyone harsh on your joy! It's fine to express our peeves, but how we do so matters. Making jokes...great! Acting like other people ought to bow to our peeves or using harsh invective...that's another matter.

I'm going to get a pumpkin spice latte on the first day Starbucks sells them, no matter how hot it is outside. Nobody's going to harsh on that joy.

Don't let anyone harsh on your joy either.

Mercy, grace, peace, and latte love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Papertrey Ways to Say Merry Christmas
ink: StampinUp real red, cherry cobbler
paper: Papertrey white; StampinUp real red and cherry cobbler
accessories: EK success label punch, Poppy Stamps poinsettia die, dimensional tape, glue, rhinestones, Copic marker to color the rhinestones

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Poinsettia Die, Part 2 of the Play

Playing is a great way to explore a new purchase, and playing with this poinsettia die from Poppy Stamps makes me very happy.

After using traditional red for the first card I shared using it, I decided to explore a non-traditional option.

Pure white and periwinkle.




If the white space of the first card freaked you out, this version should be more to your taste. The card is smaller (3.25" x 6.5") and utilizes a huge sentiment from Winnie & Walter's The Big, The Bold, The Merry.

In the red version, the poinsettia die took center stage, but here it's definitely supporting cast. That bold merry, with its pretty loops and swishes gets the focus. I adore this card, and not just because periwinkle is one of my favorite colors.




The hint of black in the word Christmas anchors the whole light and pretty design. 

I also pulled out pigment inks for this one. They give a little more weight and opacity to the stamped images, which is important, I think, in such a light design.

Keep in mind the rules of play...have fun and don't worry if you make pretty trash! Sometimes, play works out, and sometimes it doesn't. But if you turn off your inner censor/critic and let creativity happen, you just never know what will happen!

The crazy is ramping up at my house as we get ready to send our elder son to his first year in university, our younger son to tenth grade, and me to work. My time to stamp is predictably limited right now. Once the boys are settled, I will have more time (despite the work) to stamp and will get back to regular posting.

Until then, I will post when I can. Thanks for your patience!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Winnie & Walter The Big, The Bold, The Merry, Hero Arts Holiday Sentiments (poinsettia on envelope), Simon Says Envelope Sentiments
ink: Impress Fresh Ink freesia, Memento Luxe black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, Copic to color them, poinsettia die (Poppy Stamps)

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Poinsettia Die, Part 1 of the Play

I picked up a Poppy Stamps layered poinsettia die at Marco's Paper a while back, and decided to play around with it, seeing as I'm not terribly experienced with dies and this is a particularly pretty one.

Here's Part 1 of the Play:

Card Size 3.5" x 7.25"

The poinsettia comes with three layers, but that seemed too much for my CAS-lovin' self, so I used two...one in cherry cobbler and one in real red (both colors by StampinUp). For those of you who like more layers, adding the third smallest layer in the cherry cobbler would be lovely!

The sentiment (Papertrey's Side-by-Side Sentiments) was stamped in Brilliance pearlescent ivy, which is a nice, dark green.



As you can see in the close-up, the dies deboss veins into the leaves. There's also a leaf to go with the poinsettia, but I usually don't like having red and green touching, so I skipped the leaf here. But side by side, red poinsettia and green sentiment, they look festive!

I like to decorate my Christmas card envelopes, so this one is stamped with a Hero Arts poinsettia from Holiday Sentiments. The center of the stamped poinsettia has gold gel pen as an accent since bling on an envelope is impractical. Also, the lines are from Simon Says Stamp's Envelope Sentiments.

There's a LOT of white space on this card, perhaps more than most of you would be comfortable using. That's okay. You could adapt this concept to a much smaller card or even on a gift tag. Simple sentiment, one poinsettia, one bling. Rearrange as needed to please the eye. Easy to mass produce. Striking and pretty!

Everyone wins.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Hero Arts Holiday Sentiments, Papertrey Side-by-Side Sentiments, SSS Envelope Sentiments
ink: Hero Arts red royal, Brilliance ivy
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: standard envelope (Marco's Paper), gold gel pen, rhinestone, Copic for coloring rhinestone


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Yay, Me!

My interview went beautifully, and I am now an adjunct instructor at our area's largest community college. I will be teaching two sections of English Composition 1. 

I. Cannot. Wait.

Many, many thanks to all who have sent good wishes and encouragement in this, and for all who have prayed. I've felt it all and am beyond grateful.

Today's card has a bibliophile theme and takes me outside my comfort zone with a colored card base. No matter how hard I tried, the raised panel just wouldn't look good on a cream base. Nuh-uh. Not at all. 




After I'd edited the photo, it occurred to me that the banner with pointy ends really doesn't go very well with the soft deckle of the watercolor paper and the soft edges of the inked background. Wish now I'd used a deckle on one side of the banner. 

Oh, well, this is why we keep stamping. Always striving to improve and "get it right." If we ever do attain perfection, what's the point of going on?

Well, perhaps that's too strong. Yesterday's card was pretty perfect to my eye, LOL!

Anyway, I made the background using an old Hero Arts shadow stamp inked up with peeled paint and faded jeans, spritzed with lots of water, and stamped on watercolor paper. The edges are particularly uneven because I spritzed too much water, but I like the results. The color is nicely intense anyway. 

Books do make me happy. If you like reading novels, may I recommend Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman? It's the best novel I've read in months. 

And I read a lot. 

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Tim Holtz, Clearly Besotted, Hero Arts
ink: Distress faded jeans, peeled paint; Archival potting soil
paper: Papertrey, watercolor paper
accessories: craft foam, rhinestones, Sharpies/Copics for coloring the rhinestones

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

First-World Problems

It's annoying when you ink up an image, stamp it, and get this.



Hero Arts dye inks tend to smooth out as they dry, but not this time. This stamp and the ink (robin's egg) are from Hero's February 2018 kit. After rubbing the stamp with an eraser, cleaning it well, and re-inking it, this happened.



Grrrr. So I decided to use an Archival ink (cornflower), which is oil based and generally provides perfect coverage, but this happened.

(Note this ink isn't as dark IRL as it looks in the photo.)

Well, isn't that special? (Reread that question in the Church Lady's voice.) I cleaned the stamp again very well, re-inked, and this happened.



Much better.

And here's the final card. (The ink color is accurate on the card but not on the above samples.)




To get a bit of height on the label, I stacked three die cuts together. That gives some lovely--and solid--dimension that won't crush in the mail.


The Hero Arts February 2018 kit is lovely, but that robin's egg ink is finicky. This has happened before. I love the color but wonder if there's something wrong with the formula. The Hero Arts raspberry jam ink looks great on the flowers with no rubbing of the stamp necessary.

Oh, well. Archival cornflower certainly works great!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan


Supplies
stamps: Hero Arts February 2018 kit, Papertrey sentiment
ink: Archival cornflower, black; Hero Arts raspberry jam
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: coordinating dies, label die (SSS), rhinestones, black sharpie

Monday, July 23, 2018

Color Layering Extra

Okay, so this card uses the same color-layering set as the past two cards, but this time, I carried color layering to an extra level. Not only are the stamps color layered, but so is the background, which was made by xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssAQZ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````


Well, Daisy helped me blog there. Dog chins are not literate.



Which begs the question: is my chin literate? Things to ponder.

Or not.

Yes, I petted her. She has me well trained.

Anyway, I made the background by lightly inking a scrap with tumbled glass Distress Ink and an inking tool. Then, I placed a stencil over the scrap and added more of the same ink to create the graduated dots.

Subtle and fun layering!



Let me also point out, just for the record, that today's seahorse uses three shades of orange, yesterday's used three shades of aqua, and the first card used three shades of purple. That's nine shades of dye ink...not counting the inks on the shells. If I didn't have so VERY MANY ink pads, using color-layering stamps would be so much harder.

Just sayin'. If you need a reason to buy more ink pads.

I'm helpful that way.



Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Hero Arts Color Layering Seahorse, Clearly Besotted Tiny Type
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Hero Arts soft vanilla, soft wheat, soft brown; Memento canteloup; Archival tiger lily, potting soil; Distress tumbled glass
accessories: coordinating dies, banner die, dimensionals, stencil, rhinestones