Wednesday, August 19, 2020

More Good Bugs in the Great Weirdness

Butterflies, as we have established, are good bugs. So are ladybugs. Ladybugs don't bite, they eat aphids, and they come in a range of fun, happy colors with polka dots. What's not to love? We have quite a few hanging around our house now. Cooper ate one on the front porch yesterday...which somehow seems to sum up the weirdness. 

I always look forward to fall and the season of pumpkin spice everything, but today's cooler temperatures caught me by surprise. Time seems to have lurched quickly since March, and part of me finds it hard to believe that fall is right around the corner. Those lovely ladybugs will be hibernating soon. 

So why do I feel stuck in limbo, like so much of life is simply on hold...indefinitely? The Great Weirdness is doing a number on my head, folks, and on many of my friends and family as well. It's easy to slip into anxiety and depression, even if you're not normally anxious or depressed. Take care of yourselves. Reach out and get help before you sink too low. Acknowledge the weirdness, but don't let it win. 

A great way to stand up to the Great Weirdness is to do nice things for people. Just one small thing a day. Send a card or small gift to someone. Buy their coffee. Send them a fun text or meme you think they will like. Whatever it is, do it intentionally. Those small gestures make a difference...sometimes all the difference...for someone else and for yourself.

So just do it. 

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Falling Leaf

Some stamps are timeless and far too perfect to ever get rid of. This leaf from Stampa Rosa is one such stamp. 

I like the dimension here. The burnt orange square is glued to the card base, the brown square is popped up with a thin dimensional, and the stamped square is popped up on top of the brown square with another thin dimensional. Squares often create a static feel, but this staggered popping seems fitting for a falling leaf image, doesn't it?

I've mentioned frequently that autumn is my favorite season. A few leaves have started to fall despite warm temperatures. But pumpkin-spice everything is just around the corner, folks, and I'm as happy as a puppy chasing leaves about it. 

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,


Monday, August 17, 2020

Two Types of Bugs

So there are two types of bugs: good bugs and bad bugs. Now, I'm not talking about ecology here, or the fact that all animals are useful and serve a purpose. I'm talking about the fact that revenge is a dish best served with protective gear and lethal chemicals.

You see, my darling husband George, our dog Cooper, and I were all three stung by yellow jackets Friday before last while sitting on our deck. Cooper and I experienced the regular discomfort of such stings, but George, who was stung under the eye, swelled up and broke out in all-over hives. We spend an evening at the ER plotting revenge. 

He executed the plot (and the nest of yellow jackets) without further incident. But he's had renewed swelling and itching over this weekend, and I feel that, perhaps, the bad bugs didn't suffer as much as they should have.

So yellow jackets are bad bugs, no matter what an entomologist might say. 

Butterflies, however, are very good bugs, and they look pretty on cards, too!

I colored two different species of butterflies the same because I'm simple that way, and the colors made me happy. On a butterfly. Same colors on a yellow jacket...not so much. 

Doesn't Wink of Stella make a perfect shimmer for butterfly wings? My heart's all aflutter!

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness to all creatures without stingers or venomous fangs,


Sunday, August 16, 2020

Re-Inspired during The Great Weirdness

 In The Great Weirdness, I find my mind doesn't work the way it used to. It's often irritable, restless, and far more negative that it usually is. I mean, my mind usually doesn't say, "The glass is half full." My mind says, "Hey, that glass is refillable!!!"

But The Great Weirdness is a thing. And sometimes the glass is empty.

After spending far too long surfing Pinterest for inspiration, I got the idea to let my previous cards inspire me. That led me to make these two cards, inspired by THIS CARD, which was inspired by THIS CARD. So the original inspiration wasn't, in fact, my card, but someone else's, whose pin has been adulterated with a spam link.

If you bother reading my original post for this design, you'll note that it took many steps to make that card. This card went together rather quickly, mainly because I skipped the embossing. The colors are Distress mustard seed and speckled egg. I used the inking tool to ink scraps for the solid panels...which gives a very different look than colored cardstock. 

While some of my adopted college students have returned to school, some have (like our son Nick) opted to stay home this semester. All of Nick's classes are online, and he didn't fancy another shot at the roommate lottery. The above card will go in a care package to one of the girls who's returned to campus. 

The ones staying home to study will still get packages, though. The Great Weirdness is so hard on all of them. 

After I finished the card above, I still had some small scraps of mustard seed and speckled egg paper. The following card came from using them. I like it a LOT. 

Which version do you like best? Why?

I hope you're doing as well as you can in The Great Weirdness. I start teaching on the 24th, two classes online. It's getting exciting as the plan comes together! But oh, my. It's so weird.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,


Thursday, July 23, 2020

Purple No. 2

Here's the second in my purple series. Numbering them makes them feel so artsy

I can't remember ever thinking too much about purple, but it's a finicky color. Today's card uses two shades of blue-purple that don't look anything like yesterday's red-purples. I combined them with a happy lime for extra punch!

Originally, I had very thin mats under both of these panels, but the elegant thin-thick-thin matting I love so much didn't work with the folksy look of this design. One wide mat under a raised panel looked much more appropriate.

I hope you're holding together through all this. Today was a hard day, but tomorrow will be better. I just know it!

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Purple No. 1

Three of the four purple studies I did for my informal purple challenge definitely look like Simplicity cards, and today's is one of them (obviously inspired by Mia's awesome circle cards such as the ones on this post). 

For this card, I really wanted to spotlight three of the pretty stamps from a very old Technique Tuesday set, and circles seemed a really good way to do that. This gold-and-reddish-purple combination was inspired by this pin

Stay safe and healthy!

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

"Has Susan Lost Her Mind?"

Okay, so yesterday's card was deeply atypical for Simplicity, and yes, the balloon shape of the butterflies was indeed a "happy little accident," not at all planned. It's fun to do the unexpected, so here is another non-LateBlossom card that uses *gasp* colored cardstock (base and mat!) and six colors of ink. 

Today's color challenge was similar to yesterday's...use as many different colors as you can. It was loosely inspired by a color combo on Pinterest. I do love using those pins as jumping-off points, even if I usually only pick two colors at the most! 

Next up...purple. I challenged myself to use every single Hero Arts and Archival Ink purple pad I own, which is way too many considering how rarely I use purple. The results were mostly fun although a few ended up in the circular file. Four cards made the final cut, and one of them made me happy as a kindergartner with a paper-plate-cotton-ball bunny!

In other news, one of my classes for fall now has 17 enrolled, so I'm pressing hard to get the class website put together. My syllabus is BEAUTIFUL. I created it in MS Publisher, and while it's not finalized quite yet, it's making me so very happy!

Stay safe, everyone. 

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,