Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Extreme White Space

After yesterday's cards with no white space, let's visit a little square card that is almost nothing BUT white space. It satisfies my soul, although I suspect it makes my friend Leslie itch a bit. Or a lot.

Card Size: 4.25" square

stamps: Hero Arts Autumn Blessings, My Favorite Things Fall Florals
ink: Memento cocoa, Ancient Page henna
paper: Papertrey White
accessories: not a single one

Monday, October 5, 2015

Christmas Contrast

Yesterday's post provoked a big response. Lots of feels regarding buying stuff.

Lots. Of. Feels.

If you missed the post, check it out here. And make sure you read the comments. Good thoughts, different perspectives. Many thanks to all who chimed in the comments and in private emails.

I feel very good about the plan, and today's cards reflect that good feeling! I pulled out Everyday Christmas Wishes from Stampin'Up. After years of buying stamps, finding a really good one still happens more randomly than I'd like. This was a random, impulse purchase from last year, but I liked it so much I recently bought SU's birthday and thank-you versions of it. Perhaps it's the simplicity of the set that makes it so very, very easy to work with.

You see what I did there?

Anyway, here's the bold version of the card, using sky blue Brilliance and Memento Luxe Danube blue inks.

And then there's the subtle version (which was really hard to photograph!). It uses Avery Elle's pixie ink and Memento Luxe rhubarb stalk.

The hand-drawn snowflakes and handwritten sentiment are so very appealing! And yes, I filled all the space, but every now and then, I get a little carried away. The high energy of the blue card contrasts so nicely with the more peaceful, serene feel of the pink one.

Isn't color magnificent!!!!

These cards make me happy. I hope they make you happy, too!

stamps: Stampin Up
ink: various pigment
paper: Papertrey
accessories: rhinestones, dimensionals, scallop scissors (for rounding two corners of the raised panel a bit), Sharpie for coloring the pink rhinestones (the blue came pre-colored ;-))

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Anger Management

Today, my pastor preached on the emptiness of consumer culture and how when we're unhappy, we buy new stuff, but the joy of having it wears off quickly and then we need more new stuff. It's an endless cycle that never permanently satisfies.

Oh, my! The truth will set you free, but first it ticks you off!

A few weeks ago, I pulled every winter/holiday stamp and set in my hoard out for my hard push on Christmas. Here's what I found.

Clear and unmounted rubber sets. About 33 sets. I have more sets
than years Jesus lived on earth. How did this happen?!?!

Random wood-mounted Christmas stamps. Several of these are
old Stampa Rosa stamps...maybe they can be put in my coffin with
me. Can we take stamps with us?

Trees suitable for holiday cards. Stampa Rosa here as well.

More trees and winter stamps. A few Stampa Rosa ones in here, too.

So the question is "What does one stamper possibly need with this many holiday stamps?"

Even more important is this question: "Where will she start?"

Honestly, I wanted to go take a nap after pulling all this stuff out. It took several days of feeling very angry at myself before I worked up a strategy for dealing with this embarrassment of riches. Here's what I learned....

  1. I still feel compelled to buy new holiday stamps and feel ashamed of myself.
  2. Some of these stamps (mostly some of the sets) do not excite me. At all.
  3. Some of these stamps do excite me, but I wonder how I will ever make anything with them that is different from what I've already made with them. 
  4. The sheer quantity of stamps here is intimidating and stifles my creativity.

And that makes me angry.

So what does a girl do to manage her anger? She comes up with a PLAN.

And here it is: I'm going to use as many of these stamps as I can, and if I don't have fun using a set or stamp, it's going into storage. Next year, if I make all my holiday cards without retrieving any from storage, those stored stamps will be sold off in grab boxes. Gone. Out of my hair. Into someone else's...where they might be appreciated and loved and whipped into something useful.

The first set I played with was Candy Cane Christmas, which yielded these two acceptable cards (and several other not-so-acceptable ones).

This set is a keeper. Not only were these two cards fun to make, but they didn't make me feel as though my creativity was exhausted for future use.


Do you have a plan for dealing with the consequences of consumerism? Or do you just buy more storage?

stamps: Candy Cane Christmas, Faux Ribbon
ink: assorted pigment inks
paper: Papertrey
accessories: circle punch, scallop circle punch, dimensionals, rhinestone

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Bright Birthday Greetings

Another dreary day in Ohio, so here's a bright birthday card to cheer me up!

Loving the fun flowers in My Favorite Things Fall Florals set. The layering of pieces of the flowers (stems and centers and such) makes for endlessly fun color combinations. I also really appreciate that the backing sheet for this large stamp set is printed with both the stamp images as well as outlines around the stamps that are intended to work together. That way, you know exactly what circle goes in the middle of what flower, what stem goes with what bloom, what embellishments go with what image.

That should be standard on two-step stamp sets because sometimes I wonder what in the heck those little odd stamps could possibly be used for!

The happy colors here are a combination of Hero Arts and memento inks, with some Ancient Page thrown in for good measure. Those are all dye inks, but to make the sentiment really pop off the card, I used the rich and creamy Memento Luxe tuxedo black. Love the contrast of the density of the black and the translucence of the colorful dye inks!

I'm going to send this card to my niece, who will turn 16 this winter. Teenagers are hard to make cards for, but I hope the happy colors brighten her birthday!

stamps: My Favorite Things Fall Florals, Papertrey Signature Greetings
ink: various dye inks; Memento Luxe black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: none

Thursday, October 1, 2015

One-Layer Simplicity 21: Whatever the Weather

This month's One-Layer Simplicity Challenge is hosted by Heather Telford...the stamper who has a sponge and isn't afraid to use it! Her theme for the month is Whatever the Weather, so make yourself a weather-y card and share it on the OLS blog.

Who knows? Your card might be picked by one of the DT members to be highlighted on our Details post at the end of October!

My first card for this challenge uses Papertrey's In the Meadow set.

To make the silver Brilliance ink sparkle a bit more, I added some tiny rhinestones, proving once again that bling makes everything better.

Sometimes, a card can pair any ol' image with any ol' sentiment, but for my challenge card, I wanted to make the two very dependent on one another. The sentiment says, "In the meadow we can build a snowman." But there's no snowman on outside of the card, is there? Nope. The snow is falling though, and we can build a snowman out of it! Let's go do it!

Then, on the inside, we see the the fruit of our labor in the snowy weather...a snowman!

I love how the lightness of the outside snowfall contrasts with the heavy, dense snowman inside. We take the pretty weather and make something solid and fun out of it!

Please join us for the October OLS Whatever the Weather challenge. Get creative and show wind, or rain, or sunshine, or snow, or the eye of a hurricane! Just remember to stick to the theme, keep your card to one single layer of card stock, and have fun!

stamps: Papertrey In the Meadow, Hero Arts snow line, Clearly Besotted Modern Trees Joy
ink: Brilliance silver, poppy
paper: papertrey 
accessories: rhinestones


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

On a Gray Day, A Girl Needs Some Bright Colors

Yesterday, we had a gray, wet day in southwest Ohio, so I grabbed some citrus colors and made the day brighter.

Hi there, color. I appreciate you.

What are your favorite colors on a gray day?

stamps: My Favorite Things Fall Florals
ink: Hero Arts butter bar, lime, orange soda; Memento cocoa
paper: Papertrey
accessories: epoxy dome sticker

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Artsy Quilt Inspiration

As soon as this photo of a very artistic quilt design by Ursula Kern popped up during my Pinterest browsing, a card popped right into my head.

Yep. An idea came to me, I executed the idea, and it turned out exactly as I wanted it to turn out.

Y'all, success like this NEVER happens to me. Inspiration for me usually proceeds awkwardly and with fits and starts and mistakes and unexpected problems and even more unexpected solutions. Inspiration is a messy PROCESS of creating my own thing from a springboard of someone else's creativity.

This card happened just right the first time. Which is good because stamping all those circles took forever and I won't do it again.

But what a pleasure to have it work so well!

To make this, I drew lines out from the central circle and used My Favorite Things Party Patterns and a few other smaller circle stamps from other random sets to fill in between the lines. After finishing the stamping, I erased the lines, stamped the sentiment, and sat back with a smile on my face.

Don't you love it when a plan comes together so easily?

Of course you do!

stamps: My Favorite Things, miscellaneous circles, Papertrey sentiment
ink: Hero Arts cornflower, soft sky, soft graphite; Memento black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: pencil, eraser