Friday, October 24, 2014

Keeping Thanks Simple: Day 6, and a Link to a Tutorial on Random Stamping

Here's the last in the series "Keeping Thanks Simple." We've looked at all six of the sentiments in the mini set Keep It Simple: Thank You from Papertrey Ink. This time, I found an amazing inspiration for creating a border on a card...a border that has no focal point but enhances the sentiment nicely.

This photo is in the latest issue of Real Simple magazine, which, by the way, is always loaded with CAS inspiration. Those graphic designers at Real Simple totally get white space. Anyway, check out those amazing colors...and I'm not even a fan of beets.

I pulled out ink pads that closely matched the colors of the beets, and then set to work stamping a random border after masking the card with post-it notes.

Doesn't this card say "thank you bunches"? Get it?

This is a perfect use for all those tiny little flowers and leaves and curlicues that come in stamp sets. (All the stamps on this card came from a variety of Papertrey sets.) The line was drawn with a copper metallic marker, and I stamped the sentiment in Staz-On timber brown so it would stamp nicely over the metallic line. Other inks won't always work over the metallic marker, so test your ink on a scrap before stamping on the card.

Staz-On is great...and it even smells good, in a don't-sniff-for-too-long sort of way.

I received an email from Sue C. asking how I manage to get balanced randomness on cards like this one from earlier this week. I told her I would do a tutorial on random stamping, and then remembered that I already had posted such a tutorial back in January 2013. (Actually, I had to search the blog for it because I can't remember what I posted last week, much less what I posted 21 months ago.)

The tutorial is HERE. Enjoy!

stamps: Papertrey
ink: Hero Arts, Memento, Staz-On
paper: Papertrey
accessories: copper metallic marker, ruler, post-it notes

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Keeping Thanks Simple: Day 5 (And a Question about Yesterday's Card)

Today's use of the Keep It Simple: Thank You set from Papertrey shows how easy it can be to set the sentiment off by a lovely stamped this case from Embellished Elegance.

I wanted to make a Christmas-y thank you and the Hero Arts green and royal red inks worked perfectly. The tiny red rhinestones come from a rhinestone alphabet sheet I bought on sale at Michael's. You get ever so many tiny rhinestones in those sets, and it's easy as pie to cut them off the letters with a craft knife.

The only reason why the sentiment is popped up is that I accidentally stamped it in green the first time. I'd meant to stamp it in red, and may or may not have said something vulgar when I realized my my mistake. So I stamped it properly in red on a strip of card stock, cut it to size, and rounded the corners slightly with a pair of scallop-edge scissors.

You'd never know I messed up except I blabbed it all over the interwebs.

And now to address a question regarding yesterday's card. Kathy Mc asked why I placed the sentiment where I did, in the upper-left sweet spot rather than in the lower-right sweet spot. Well, Kathy, two reasons. First, sometimes I get tired of putting the sentiment where it's "expected" to be. Shaking things up a bit adds interest and makes me feel daring and irresponsible. Second, I liked the idea that the sentiment would be cascading down with the flowers rather than being showered by them, as it would have in the lower-right sweet spot.

There's no "right" place to put the sentiment, and it would look perfectly lovely in the more traditional spot. But never, ever be afraid to shake things up a bit. It might flop, but it's worth the risk to be rebellious every now and then.

I hope that clarifies things.

And of course today's sentiment is centered because the frame is simply too large to fit neatly into a sweet spot.

stamps: Papertrey
ink: Hero Arts
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Keeping Thanks Simple: Day 4

Today's card features another thank-you sentiment from Keep It Simple: Thank You. This time, the sentiment is falling with a cascade of autumnal flowers...accented with bling.

These simple, stylized daisies come in three sizes in Beautiful Blooms II from Papertrey. I love, love, love that there are three sizes! The largest are stamped in the lightest color, the mediums in the medium shade, and the smallest in the darkest orange. This ordering of shades and sizes--aside from satisfying my obsessive tendencies--keeps the card light and fun, and provides a better contrasting background so the very dark sentiment stands out.

stamps: Papertrey
ink: Hero Arts, Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: rhinestones

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Keeping Thanks Simple: Day 3

In contrast to yesterday's very clean and simple thank you card, today's card flirts with collage-style stamping.

Soft colors and plenty of white space lend a bit of femininity to this thank you. Teal and purple pastels provide the backdrop for the strong, black thank you...the true focal point of the card. Note how the triangle of purple focuses the eye on the sentiment? That's very much on purpose.

See? You can use five stamps, two colors, and a neutral, and still be SIMPLE!

stamps: Papertrey Keep It Simple: Thank You, and various others
ink: Hero Arts
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestone

Monday, October 20, 2014

Keeping Thanks Simple: Day 2

For this second card using the Keeping It Simple: Thanks set from Papertrey, I decided to use the sentiment without an image but with a little color change to spice things up.

This stamp uses two weights of the same font...a nice, clean sans-serif font in regular and bold. The difference in weight throws the emphasis of the two words "thank you" clearly onto the "you." By repeating the sentiment and using color to emphasize the "you" even more, I created a card all about "YOU."

Surely you have thanks to give to someone who by his or her very nature deserves thanks...not just for what they do or what they give, but for who they are.

Here's the perfect card for that special person!

And yes, I screwed up my first attempt by forgetting to ink the stamp on the two pads, and inked the whole thing on the charcoal. Grrr.

But we got there on the second attempt.

Really. One must pay attention when one stamps. One simply must.

Lining up these three sentiments, however, was easy with the gridded acrylic block. I started with the bottom image and worked my way up, aligning the already-stamped sentiment with the white line a half-inch below the new image. That way, I have exactly the same space between the top two images and between the bottom two images.

Reason #86 you need gridded acrylic blocks!

stamps: Papertrey
ink: Hero Arts charcoal, fresh peach
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: gridded acrylic block

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Keeping Thanks Simple: Day 1

When Papertrey offered a Keep It Simple: Thank You set for $5, I jumped all over it. These little sets of ONLY USEFUL sentiments are an excellent value (I have three of them). You'll note there are no weird sentiments included...just what you'll actually use.

Not a "Cherish" or "Imagine" or "Beelzebub" in the lot.

Anyway, while flipping through my stash of cards, I realized that I'm running low on thank-you cards, and with my birthday coming up in November, it made sense to beef up the stash.

By the way, this year, I turn an even number, which is ALWAYS better than being an odd number, although 47 really hasn't been a bad year at all, despite being both odd and prime.

Anyway (again), here's the first of six thank-you cards for this week of Keeping Thanks Simple.

There are six different fonts in the set, and I tried to match fonts with images that in some way suited them. For this very bold, strong font, I wanted a single, bold, strong image with nice, clean, curvy lines. The lime and brown pair nicely, and the bling needs no explanation.

This is such an easy card that it would be a snap to make lots of them in no time.

What do you think of sentiments in stamp sets? Do you often use sentiments other than the traditional, straightforward sentiments (thank you, happy birthday, thinking of you, hello, get well, etc.)? I find since I started sending cards to Operation Write Home, the ordinary sentiments are most useful.

stamps: Papertrey
ink: Hero Arts lime, VersaMagic jumbo java
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Couple of Beauties I've Received

I received a couple of cards in the last few months that I'd like to share today. These two are simply beautiful and from two amazing stampers who've been my online friends for YEARS.

In August, I received a sweet note of congratulations from Heather on my completion of Stephen Ministry leadership training. What a beautiful example of Heather's fine soft and simple, yet layered and visually striking! The blue and cream are so pretty together.

The next card is from Marty F., who's sent me cards and Christmas ornaments for years...always clean and simple and pretty, just like this card! Don't you love the movement she created by varying the flower heights? Such a great design!

I treasure every card I receive...handmade or otherwise. My inspiration board in my craft space is almost full again. I clear it off when it gets full, but it's never empty for long, especially around Christmas!

Isn't it awesome that our hobby lets us send others--even virtual strangers--little bits of love through the post?