Friday, June 22, 2018

Green Lotus

A quick post. 

The placement on this card might seem a bit odd, but I love it. There's a stable base to the bottom of the design. Good friendships ground us, don't they? But they also lift us up and help us breathe. All the soaring white space above the lotus made me think of that. The symbolism of the design works so well with the sentiment.

Yes, I'm a weird English major.

But that green lotus is darling, isn't it?

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: StampinUp Lotus Blossom, Hero Arts sentiment
paper: Papertrey white
ink: various dye inks
accessories: not a single bling

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Lotus Blossom

The StampinUp Lotus Blossom set that kind reader Sarah sent me is pretty awesome.


I started with three shades of purple and love the effect. I didn't quite get the layers lined up perfectly, but it doesn't look bad to my eyes. Hopefully not to yours, either.

Someone commented that layered stamps make them nervous about choosing color. I replied that, mostly, I pick three shades of the same color because monochromatic equals safe.

Which then got me thinking. Could I mix it up a bit?

So I combined a pale yellow with two shades of salmon. The results made me so happy! (Plus, I lined things up better this time! Practice makes perfect.)

Note the stamped panel on this salmon version of the card is larger to accommodate the larger sentiment. I cut the first panel before choosing a sentiment and struggled to find one to fit. Everything was too small or too large...which is always frustrating.

And please note that bling is essential to these cards. Simple, clean, and blingy. Oh, happy lotus!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: StampinUp Lotus Blossom, assorted sentiments
ink: various dye inks
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

I Like Big Bling, And I Cannot Lie

In an attempt to let a big sentiment shine, I made this card.

After the stamping was finished, the card still needed a little something to jazz it up. The silver marker line felt out of place, so I wondered if some bling would make it feel more integrated. Then, I found these large aqua rhinestones. Sprinkled with smaller ones for interest, they really liven up the card!

Shine on, big bling. You don't need a reason. Just be pretty.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Concord & 9th Just Because
ink: Hero Arts mint julep, Archival black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, PrismaColor silver marker, ruler, post-it notes

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Day Late

Well, it certainly wasn't my intention to skip posting yesterday, but you know, Mondays have a way of getting away from you. Especially when something like this happens.

Thank goodness for duct tape. Someone turned in front of me, I slammed on brakes, he tried to go fast, and, well, it wasn't good. The accident happened late morning, and over the course of the afternoon, I developed some severe neck pain that landed me at the ER. Big shout-out to the ER doctor, who ordered a shot that worked wonders and x-rays that showed nothing serious. She sent me home to take a bubble bath.

This was my audience.

When I turned on the jets in the tub, Cooper freaked. I thought he might jump in to rescue me from the evil bubbles! George dragged his furry butt out of the bathroom, but he sat outside the door staring at it for about five minutes. Then his short attention span kicked in, and he joined George on the bed while George read.

Bubble baths are amazing, and kudos to the doctor for knowing that.

I'm feeling much better today. We'll see if that holds once I start dealing with the insurance company. Ugh.

So here's the card that I would have posted yesterday.

This set is Concord & 9th's Just Because. Giant sentiments can be a challenge, but this layout works great for them. I stamped the branch first in Hero Arts forever green, then layered the speckles in Archival prickly pear. The because is also in forever green, and the remainder of the sentiment is stamped with Archival potting soil.

The card looked okay at that point, but I wanted to add some bling. These are Hero Arts olive gemstones. Three weren't enough, so I added two more to make an uneven number. Uneven is usually better than even in design.

Usually. All rules may be broken if you break them correctly.

I have no idea when it's correct to break them, of course. I design using the Force. Still, generally speaking, odd numbers are better numbers.

And if one bubble bath is good, two are better. Three magnificent. Off for another....

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and road safety,

stamps: Concord & 9th Just Because
ink: Hero Arts forever green; Archival potting soil, prickly pear
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: Hero Arts gemstones

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Long, Small Sentiments

Altenew seems to like small-font, very long horizontal sentiments. Well, they seem to like large-font, very long horizontal sentiments, too. Large fonts rarely appeal to me unless I'm using them without images because, you know, they don't leave enough white space.

But I wondered what I could do with the small-font sentiments in Altenew's Happy Heart set.

Oh. My.

All the glorious white space!!! You really do see that small sentiment because there's almost nothing else to look at on the whole card!! Yay for exclamation points!!!!

Note how the placement of the sentiment toward the bottom of the card emphasizes the meaning of the sentiment? Yeah, that was on purpose. Plus, it put the heart in the sweet spot. 

The card began its life as one layer, but it looked too plain. (I know. Some of you, perhaps even most of you, think the final version of this card is too plain. I'm rolling my eyes at you.) But white-on-white layers added just enough dimension to make the card work. I debated adding bling for a nanosecond, but it's perfect just the way it is.

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being a part of this thing called Simplicity

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Altenew Happy Heart, Papertrey Heart Prints
ink: Archival black, vibrant fuchsia
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: none

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Crisp Cosmos

I truly enjoy cards with stamped panels about the size of an ordinary business card. The small "canvas" allows for a simple, clean layout and strong focal point, with lots of glorious white space to form a mat.

Like this.

Getting creative with white matting just adds to the beauty without cluttering the design or distracting from the focal point.

The Stunning Cosmos set from Altenew has these gorgeous layered flowers which allow for wonderful play of color. Four stamps make up this image: the petal base, the petal veins, the flower center, and the center details. This set is relatively easy to line up, especially if you use a MISTI.

Note that I stamped the flower on a larger scrap in the MISTI and cut it down for the card. This allows plenty of space for the magnet bars to hold the card stock in place in the MISTI. I stamped the sentiment after cutting down the image so it would be positioned properly on the panel.

The sizes of the mats match the Proportional Matting Chart I posted eight years ago, with increments of 1/8" between those listed on the chart. The chart allows your panels to fit on a standard 4.25" x 5.5" sheet card (American standard...other countries cut card stock differently!)

Another snippet of advice. I used Papertrey's heavy white card stock for this card, but when you're going to add so many mats, it's better to use Neenah Solar White 80lb for the stamped panel and mats and Neenah Solar White 110lb for the base. Unfortunately, in my design process, cards usually evolve mats...they aren't planned in advance. Papertrey doesn't sell a lighter-weight version of its card stock, and the two brands are not the same white or the same texture, so mixing and matching offends my obsessive need for order and perfection.

Alas, first-world problems.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Altenew Stunning Cosmos, a Hero Arts sentiment
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Hero Arts pale tomato, red royal, butter bar, charcoal; Archival black
accessories: MISTI

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Punny Cards

I try hard to love making cute, punny, funny cards. I try soooo hard. But in the end, I must admit, while I love others' efforts in the more light-hearted direction, my own style tends toward stuffier (or more straight-forward) subjects.

Still, it's always fun to break out of my nice, safe, boring box and play around with a cute, punny set.

I wanted to make a scene, and the fabulous cloud folder Sarah gave me came in handy here. Scenes are not my specialty, but this one turned out fun!

I decided to use a googly eye on the whale and immediately regretted it. The white inside is so dull and gray looking, and it doesn't pop like the treatment I used on the card below. It's also a good idea to increase movement on a card by having any character or person LOOKING where you want your audience's eye to go. The googly eye is gravity dependent, so it doesn't look up at the sentiment unless you tip the card top-down.

It seemed like such a good idea until the glue went down.

The clouds are lovely, though!

This scene is lots of fun because there's so much movement! The shadow stamp wave from Hero Arts is always fun to use, and in two shades of light blue, it's even got some faux dimension. I used a small black gemstone on the whale's eye, which means he's always looking up at the sentiment, which increases the unity of the card.

Which makes me happy.

What's your feeling for punny cards?

Tons of mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Clearly Besotted
ink: various dye inks
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: Tim Holtz inking tool, craft knife, cloud embossing folder, Cuttlebug, dimensionals, googly eye, gemstone