Tuesday, March 28, 2017

IC590 With Heart

The first pin that caught my interest on the IC590 Inspiration Board was this one. The slits cut in the paper allow for tucking of the greenery stem and also create a ground for the two moose.

I've always wanted to make the plural of moose into meese. English is such a loony language.

Anyway, the idea of slits appealed to my sense of tucking. After exploring my old-fashioned and out-of-date punches for images that might tuck appealingly, I settled on three sizes of heart punches.

For those of us without die cut machines, punches are quite useful, even if obsolete in most of the crafting world.

Of course, my card has a lot of white, which provides for the awesome pops of three shades of red in the hearts.

At first, the largest heart was dark and the smallest light, but that made the left side of the card extremely top-heavy. Also, the sentiment (which I stamped first so I'd know where to cut the slits) has deeply as the bottom word; it made sense to have the deepest shade of red be literally the deepest heart. The light-to-dark downward gradient definitely improved the balance and unity of the card.

The slits are 1/2" apart and were cut with a quilting ruler and craft knife. I moved the hearts around until their arrangement felt balanced and pleasing, taped the bottoms of the hearts down on the back with ordinary scotch tape, and then added dimensionals under the tops of the hearts so they stand out a bit. You can see the shadows that result a bit better in the closeup.

You might say it was a card made with heart.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts 
ink: Archival black
paper: Papertrey white, StampinUp cherry cobbler, real red, and maybe rose something? 
accessories: heart punches, craft knife, quilting ruler, dimensionals, glue, tape

Monday, March 27, 2017

IC590: A Favorite

Okay, so y'all know the Inspiration Challenge at Splitcoast is pretty much the only challenge I do, and that's because that's how my Muse rolls. And Audrie is just so good at finding inspiration sites that make me bounce in my seat with kindergarten glee.

This week's challenge--IC590--is to find inspiration on Audrie's Inspiration Pinterest board. Well, I found lots of inspiration on her board and it led to three fun cards. Today's is my favorite of the three, and it was inspired by the collage (or perhaps we should call it a loose mosaic) in the foreground of this image.

Obviously, the biggest change I made was the color scheme...from sophisticated neutrals to bright yellow, orange, purple, pink, and raspberry. My color scheme reinforces the JOY message. Also, the images on my tiles are diverse and stylized rather than natural and organic, as in the inspiration piece.

This card was amazingly fun to make. All the pieces were cut randomly from stamped scraps of cardstock, and I didn't fuss with the arrangement.

Okay, that's a lie. I fussed. But not as much as usual.

That's because in the original, the tiles are not arranged by someone with chronic OCD...there's irregularity and asymmetry, but also balance and harmony inside the square. My main focus was arranging the colors so same-colored tiles weren't right next to each other. Note that the three yellow tiles form a visual triangle that draws attention to the sentiment.

My Muse said to do that.

Several of the pieces were trimmed to fit where they ended up, and at least one was re-stamped because I needed a bigger piece.

But all that fussing was play and not a manifestation of anxiety. Contemplate the MANY variations you could create playing with this idea!!!! Eeeep! I want to go try another one right now, but alas! It's time for sleep.

I'll have visions of irregular mosaics dancing in my head all night.

Oh, JOY!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts, A Muse, Clearly Besotted, Altenew
paper: Papertrey white
ink: various Archival, Hero Arts
accessories: glue pen, scissors

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Tea for Two

We need some sort of label for all the stamps I pulled out of cold storage. Let's call them Second-Chance Stamps because they have a second chance to convince me not to get rid of them. I will be using these Second-Chance Stamps a lot in the coming months. One has already gone back to cold storage. An hour's worth of wasted paper showed me why it went there in the first place.

Tea for Two by Papertrey, however, is a keeper, if only for this single card, which I love unreservedly.

The blue is Memento Luxe Bahama blue, and it is delightful.

The card will go to my friend Liz whenever she gets sick. She's the biggest tea drinker of my acquaintance, she's a graphic design artist, and she loves clean-and-simple designs. It simply doesn't get more perfect than that.

The round label is punched and popped up on the teapot...and that's the most technical thing about this card. I love how simple, yet dramatic it is!

I hope you had a lovely weekend and are ready to face another week. If not, perhaps you need a cup of tea.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Papertrey Tea for Two
ink: Memento Luxe Bahama blue, black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dimensionals, circle punch

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Cards Received

Y'all, last week's mail was OUTSTANDING! I received a lovely card and letter from Pat and a box of 16 amazing get-well and sympathy cards from Darla as a donation to Karen's Card Shop at my church.

We can't keep get-well and sympathy cards stocked, so Darla's donation is particularly appreciated!

I want to share Pat's card and a selection of Darla's cards with you today.

Pat's white-on-white layers and bright pops of color
are lovely, as is the perfect rhinestone front and center!

Can you believe all this beautiful coloring! It must have taken
forever. What a beautiful and cheery floral arrangement! 
The bright blue and black create such pretty drama,
as do the dots of metallic perfect pearls that decorate
the three flowers in a nice visual triangle.

Remember that white space doesn't have to be white.
I'll take this happy prescription to get better anytime, especially
because it has three perfectly placed sequins. 

This one made me laugh out loud! What a cute image,
and Darla added some Crystal Effects (or similar
product) to give the chicken shiny eyes and to make
the vase look like glass. 

Many, many thanks to Darla and Pat for cheering me up this week with your wonderful talents!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Another Celtic Cross Card

As I stared at these two cards, it occurred to me that the layers could be reduced by one if I stamped the background on the base of the card.

Lo, it's simpler. And still quite lovely!

The silver border helps define the raised panel better...necessary given the incredibly light color of the Sicilian blue background. The London gray (Memento Luxe) and Sicilian blue (Impress Fresh Ink) create such a soft, serene effect, and a single light blue rhinestone brings focus to the whole design.

Soft colors may not be as eye-catching as bright ones, but there is a gentle beauty to them all the same.

And who couldn't use a little gentle beauty right now?

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: PSX, Judikins
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Memento Luxe London fog, Impress Fresh Ink Sicilian blue
accessories: craft foam, glue, Prismacolor silver metallic marker, ruler, rhinestone 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

One of Those Days

Have you ever stepped on the scale and thought, "Wow, that's pretty good. I think I'll pig out today!"

Today was one of those days. I'm regretting (but only slightly) the pita bread wedges toasted with parmesan and mozzarella and dipped in marinara. And the Starbucks mocha. And the Little Debbie Swiss cake rolls. And the Girl Scout thin mints.

To be fair, there were only four thin mints. I found them in a bin on my craft desk where I'd hidden them from Son #1 who has even less control than I have with those little bits of Girl Scout crack minty deliciousness.

Tomorrow I will be good and eat lettuce and be sad, but today, I was AWESOME!

Of course, my pig-out was very un-Lenten, so we must shift our subject awkwardly to Easter and today's card, which is my second-favorite Easter card this year. (Yesterday's card is my favorite.)

6.25" x 3.5"

In contrast to yesterday's card, in which the contrast of the rough, angled cross and the crisp, clean sentiment created tension and wonderful balance, today's card is all about the harmony of crispness. I chose the short, wide card size to add a very strong asymmetry and balances the straight vertical of the cross.

And now I have two Easter card designs that are neither cute nor highly embellished. Whew.

stamps: Simon Says Stamp Rejoice
ink: Memento LuLu lavender, Archival black, Ancient Page amethyst
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: not a one needed for this totally flat, easy-to-mail card!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Easter Blessings

Have you ever noticed how few clean-and-simple Easter cards there are? Oh, you'll find a few stunningly CAS cards like this one from Pinterest, but mostly, Easter cards tend toward more embellishments, designer paper, layers, frills, and die cuts.

Plus, they are often cute, and we all know I'm cute-impaired.

So what's an ultra-CAS stamper to do?

Fret and ruin a bunch of paper, it turns out.


Today, however, my creative Muse chose to speak up after days of silence, and the blog posts today and tomorrow will spotlight the results of her rather condescending dope-slaps on the back of my head.

Truly, when I realized how simple these two cards were, it was definitely a duh moment.

Why is CAS so hard?

That's a rhetorical question.

Anyway, I now have two designs for my personal Easter cards that feel like I made them, which is a blessing.

The first card is absolutely not original. As soon as I made it, I knew that someone has to have come up with this idea before because it truly is so obvious once you see it. Who knows? I might even have seen this concept in my frequent scrolling through Pinterest, the idea might have lodged in my subconscious, and then it resurfaced today in this card and made me feel brilliantly creative for a moment.

This card combines Simon Says Stamp's Rejoice set and My Favorite Things Jumbo Abstract Art. I love how the pastel, loose, and tilted slashes of Memento LuLu lavender contrast with the crisp, clean fonts, dark colors, and perfect straightness of the black and amethyst sentiment.

Balance is a beautiful thing.

How many sheets of Papertrey white cardstock gave their lives before this card was born?

Too many. But persistence pays off.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and Easter blessings,

stamps: Simon Says Stamp Rejoice, MFT Jumbo Abstract Art
ink: Memento LuLu lavender, Archival black, and Ancient Page amethyst
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: not a one was needed...how cool is that?!?!?!