Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Inspired by Tenia Nelson, and Autism Awareness Month

Another wonderful artist who publishes her work in Take Ten is Tenia Nelson. I love her style, which is detail-oriented, looser yet oh-so-unified, and color savvy! Check out this lovely, soft card from the Spring issue of Take Ten:

Texture, pattern, curves, and lines and angles all come together here for such a soft effect. Love, love, love this "love" card! That strong vertical line on the right balances the strong horizontal focal point so beautifully, and that's what I wanted to play with.

I had Operation Write Home on my brain as I studied Tenia's card, as you can see by my color choices.

Rather than add a large panel to a colored card base as Tenia did, I took a strip of red card stock and added it to a white base. The font of the sentiment goes PERFECTLY with the vertical strip...love when that happens. I mean, seriously, how often do you truly have the perfect sentiment? It's either too big, too small, too fancy, too plain, too something. This one was JUST RIGHT for Tenia's layout!

Now, I had some small scraps on my desk after finishing the first card, so I decided to play with them for an even cleaner and simpler design. Be still, my heart!

Two perfectly fabulous cards for Operation Write Home, and they're both thanks to Tenia's great inspiration card. Thank you, Tenia!

And now for a bit of weird coincidence. The two artists who most inspired me in this latest issue of Take Ten were Tenia Nelson and Rosemary Dennis, though there are LOTS of lovely cards in this particular issue. Many of you know that I have a son with autism, and if you follow Tenia and Rosemary, you know that they also have sons with autism. In fact, I've met many people in the stamping world who have children on the autism spectrum. As April is Autism Awareness Month, I thought I'd address the elephant in the room that Tenia, Rosemary, I, and so many others deal with daily.

Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder that produces disabilities in speech and communication, sensory processing, social development, and behavior. While no one really knows what causes autism, it seems to result from a combination of genetic and environmental triggers. It is a spectrum disorder, which means that there are huge variations in severity and symptoms from one person to the next. Some people with autism never speak, never give their parents hugs, never say, "I love you." Others with autism are very high functioning, articulate, and successful--think Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. Most fall somewhere in between.

I've published several articles on my other blog about autism. If you feel the need to raise your awareness of autism (or are just curious), I hope you'll find them useful.

Responding to Autism

Godiva Chocolate

This Is Motherhood

Feel free to ask any questions you have about autism, either in the comments or in an email. I'm comfortable talking about this and am happy to help raise awareness...and compassion.

stamps: Clearly Besotted
ink: Memento Luxe
paper: Papertrey white, SU real red
accessories: dimensionals


  1. Love how you were inspired by Tenia's card, Susan. How smart to use your scraps for another brilliant card.

  2. Two terrific cards from a single inspiration! Gotta love this craft!

  3. I love how you interpreted Tenia's design. Your cards are OWH gems.

  4. Thank you, Susan, for your lovely cards and your explanations of why they work. I have gained a lot of inspiration and insight from your postings.

    I recently learned that my niece was just told that her 2 1/2 year-old daughter is autistic. When I read your posting today, I forwarded it to her. I hope she can gain some insight from your writings. Thank you for all you do.

  5. I just love what you did with both of these cards!! Thanks for CASEing me.....it means a lot!! Also thanks for mentioning about Autism. ASD is very interesting because the spectrum is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo wide as you know. Hope all is well.......


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