Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thinking Ferns

Combine a Kaleidacolor Vineyard inkpad, the Hero Arts Three Ferns stamp, and a spritz bottle of water, and this happens.

Add some bling and round two corners...and you're finished.

Thinking Ferns. Oh, yeah.

stamps: Hero Arts Three Ferns, Papertrey sentiment
ink: Kaleidacolor Vineyard, Memento Luxe dark cocoa
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, spritz bottle, corner rounder

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Playing with a Design Idea: Three Variations

A reminder to winners Janet and Jeanne H....please send me your snail mail addresses so I can send you the cards you won! susanraihala at roadrunner dot com

So occasionally, an idea comes to me (directly or indirectly) that begs to be played with it. Sometimes, my first effort is...inadequate? slightly off? weird? Whatever words you use, it just doesn't work. But if I believe in the basic design idea enough, I'll start riffing off of it, messing around until the results justify my initial excitement.

A key element of creativity is PLAY.

The first card today reflects that initial "meh" effort of a color-blocking idea I had after seeing a pin that I failed to pin and now cannot find. Oh, well. This card is far from the original anyway, and definitely not a winner.

Meh. A.K.A. What Not to Do
Stamps: Papertrey Grunge Me, Clearly Besotted A Little Sentimental;
ink: Hero Arts cornflower, green hills, Memento Luxe black

This ended up being a mess. The spatters in two different colors are sloppy looking, not at all artsy. The solid block stops the design on the right, which to my eye pretty much kills the energy of the splatters.

As design goes, it just does not work.

So I switched things around, went for a monochromatic green with soft, watercolor effects, and switched the solid block to the left. Much better!

Much better!!! Stamps: Hero Arts background, Gina K sentiment; inks:
Memento markers, Memento Luxe dark cocoa

For a static, color-block design, this has so much movement, from the white flourishes to the flowing green faux-watercolor wash. (These stamps were inked messily with sprout and bamboo Memento markers, spritzed with water, and stamped. Easy peasy!)

While the soft watercolor looks great, I wanted to try again with a crisper image and a funkier placement of the color blocks. Here's the final variation:

The sentiment on a thin white panel works much better than the solid panel did (wish I'd taken pictures before tossing the solid panel). The white panel lightens everything up. This arrangement gives an asymmetrical interest to the combination of large and thin panels that feels fresher to me and certainly clean and simple!

So there you go. Three variations of a single idea...and two of them actually worked! Give this process a try, if you haven't already. See how playing around can get your creativity flowing!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Phrases and Praises Set and Two Winners

Papertrey's set Phrases and Praises contains some uplifting, inspiring, comforting, and faith-filled sayings that are creatively laid out. I wanted a few very simple cards made from the set, and had so much fun easily combining these multi-stamp images on small, one-layer cards.

All Cards: 3 5/8" x 4 7/8"

While most of the images in the stamp set are fairly detailed and use interesting combinations of fonts, they can easily be used on CAS cards. Obviously.

And our winners of this Happy Mail Contest are...

Comment #7, Janet, who wrote, "The first one. Just a little bit of spring. So simple to the eye."

Comment #17, Jeanne H., who wrote, "I like the second card best because I feel it is more pleasing to the eye. Thanks for all you do, Susan."

Janet and Jeanne, please send me your snail mail addresses at susanraihala at roadrunner dot com.

And many thanks to everyone for their comments!

stamps: Papertrey
ink: various pigment inks
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: none

Monday, February 8, 2016

Inspired by an OLS Card

In the cards submitted for the January One-Layer Simplicity challenge was a gorgeous one by Karen Haman.

I'll wait while you check it out.

Cue Muzak. Ahhhh...Barry Manilow. Copacabana. Music and passion were always the fashion at the Copa....

Oh, you're back!

Anyway, I loved Karen's card so much I highlighted it in the details post for January. It's totally cool in every way, but I was particularly inspired by the way she faded the watercolor background on the left. Completely cool, and something that never would have occurred to me.

So I made this card with Twinkling H2Os and some new watercolor paper.

As the daughter of a fine artist who works mostly in watercolor and has sold actual paintings in return for actual money, I'm shockingly uncomfortable using watercolors. But this turned out fine (IMHO), especially with the shimmery gold mixed in with the red of the Twinkling H2O paint.

So, Karen, I'm inspired by your example. THANK YOU!!! If you send me your snail-mail address, I'll send you this card! My email is susanraihala at roadrunner dot com.

And I'm also shockingly behind in picking winners and mailing cards from last week's card give-away. I'll get on that ASAP.

Blessings to all.

Good night.

stamps: Waltzingmouse Blessed by You
ink: Memento Luxe black
paper: watercolor 
accessories: washi tape for masking, brush, water, Twinkling H2Os

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Inspired by Book Design

I love it when an inspiration comes together this easily. The total time from first seeing this pin to finishing today's card was in the neighborhood of 15 minutes or so. Woohoo!!!!!

This card is destined for my father-in-law, who is so hard to make cards for.


Go figure.

And now I have all the birthday cards I need to make for 2016. YAY!!!

stamps: Papertrey Through the Trees, Sign Language
ink: Hero Arts Granite, Stampin'Up cherry cobbler
paper: Papertrey white, Stampin'Up cherry cobbler
accessories: craft foam, glue, scallop scissors to round corners

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Well, Duh

Before we get to today's card, let me thank all of you who are supporting the Cox family with a donation or prayers. Ann is such a great person, hardworking and dedicated to her family and her students. Kevin's health situation is serious as he recovers from triple-bypass heart surgery with just one barely functioning kidney. Dialysis and transplant are likely in his future.

As Kevin has always been the primary caregiver for their little son Liam and obviously can't do that now, Liam has started daycare for the first time. Medical and daycare expenses are a hardship for this family, and even the smallest donations are a blessing to them.

If you missed yesterday's post, consider visiting it and checking out the other blogs on the Blog Hop. There are fabulous cards to see and prizes to be won (for leaving comments and/or donating), and on the final stop of the hop, a card gallery you can add to! Just make a card of encouragement for Ann, Kevin, and Liam, and link to it using the InLinkz button on the CAS-ual Fridays' blog post!

Now for today's card, which was completely inspired by a card on page 15 of the new Hero Arts 2016 catalog.

You might be wondering why the title of this post is "Well, Duh." I totally planned and made this card for the OLS challenge this month, and only after I added the last bling did it dawn in my feeble little brain that the sentiment is on a SECOND LAYER. Seriously. You can't enter a two-layer card in a one-layer card challenge. It simply isn't done.

But 'tis still a cool card.

stamps: Hero Arts
paper: Papertrey white
ink: various dye inks
accessories: rhinestones, craft foam, scallop scissors to slightly round corners of raised panel

Caring for the Cox Family Blog Hop

Welcome to Stop 7 of the Caring for the Cox Family Blog Hop! If you're falling into the middle of the hop, please start at Ashley's blog post to go through the entire hop in order, or see the complete hop list at the bottom of this post.

THERE ARE PRIZES, PEOPLE! Details about the prizes are on Ashley's blog. Entries for the prizes will be drawn from comments on all the blogs of the hop, and people will get an extra entry for donating to the GoFundMe link below.

It's an honor and a privilege to be a part of this Caring for the Cox Family blog hop for Ann, Kevin, and their young son, Liam, who are going through an extremely tough time right now. Ann and I met through Splitcoast and her blog, Creative Antics, years ago, and I always admired her design sense and her humor. Also, Ann is a high-school English teacher, and y'all know how much I love people who appreciate both great literature and proper grammar.

I wanted my card of encouragement to speak to them personally. I know one of Ann's favorite color combinations is aqua and red, that her stamping style is definitely clean and simple, and that they are faith-filled Christians. Putting those things together gave me the idea for this card.

This sentiment, which comes from from 1 Peter 5:7, reminds us that God loves us and cares for us through all the storms of our lives. One way He cares for us is by inspiring others to help us in our time of need. Let's surround Kevin and Ann and little Liam with caring thoughts and prayers, and if you feel able, please consider donating to the GoFundMe page that has been set up for them:

GoFundMe for the Cox Family

Here are the links for the hop. What an amazing list of talented stampers. I want to thank Ashley Newell and Karen Kelly for pulling this hop together, and Lawn Fawn, CAS-ual Fridays, and Sugar Pea Designs for their generous prizes.

Happy Hopping!

7. Susan Raihala --You Are Here!
10. Sankari Wegman
11.Lisa Lara 
LAST stop: CAS-ual Fridays

stamps: Papertrey Phrases and Praises
ink: Impress, Memento Luxe
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: craft foam, silver metallic marker (Prismacolor), silver half bead