Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Text Style Strikes Again

I woke up at 5:10 this morning in a panic over the job situation. Perhaps you know how it goes...your brain boards the Negative Train and, dang, that little engine can ruin sleep better than caffeine and police helicopters!

So I got out of bed, made coffee, and read a book in an attempt to derail that sucker. Feeling slightly better (because coffee and books make everything better), I checked my email and received a lovely, positive, affirming prayer from reader Patti M., who recently donated a bunch of beautiful cards to Karen's Card Shop.

With spring in my step and hope in my heart, I set about my day, which just ended with a doe and very tiny fawn cavorting across my back yard.

Take that, Negative Train!

So today's card is my version of a warm fuzzy shabby chic...without the warm or the fuzzy or the shabby or the chic. Okay, so I used Text Style askew. That counts, right?



Gray and grape are such a lovely color combination.




And now I'm off to the Land of Nod with a firm faith that whatever happens will be good, and I thank Patti for her confidence in God's plan and reminding me to rest in hope.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and hope,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Papertrey Life, Text Style; Clearly Besotted sentiment
ink: Hero Arts grape soda, soft granite
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: Martha Stewart butterfly punches, rhinestones, Sharpie to color the rhinestones, craft foam, and love


Monday, July 16, 2018

Post Vacation Prayers

Wow. Why do I always forget how much there is to do when we come back from vacation?

We had so much fun kayaking, watching bald eagles and muskrats and loons, reading, swimming, eating walleye, and generally relaxing. Of course, no Raihala family vacation at Lake Vermilion is complete until someone's gone to the Cook emergency room (George this time...ear infection), but otherwise, it was great fun.

He's doing better, now. I, however, feel run ragged. And it's only Monday. Tomorrow afternoon, I'll have a little time to breathe and meditate and slow down before hitting the job hunt again. Next resume will be tailored for freelance/contract writing and editing jobs.

I really, really hope a teaching job comes through, though. If you're the praying kind, please say a little prayer for that.

Anyway, here's another card using Wildflower Garden from Altenew. Such a wonderfully versatile set.




The colors are Hero Arts robin's egg and bird nest, both from the February kit. I put some pearls on there to add some dimension and shine...but not too much shine.




Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Altenew Wildflower Garden
ink: Hero Arts robin's egg, bird nest
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: pearls

Thursday, July 12, 2018

With Deepest Sympathy

Sympathy cards are always hard to make when you need them. I needed this one. Altenew's Wildflower Garden made making this card easier.

Can you tell I love this set?



The colors are soft and serene, but the movement of the stems adds interest and a bit of wildness to the design.





Our time at Lake Vermilion is winding down. Friday will be our last full day, with an early departure on Saturday. We've had a lovely week, and as always, I'm sad to be leaving and happy at the thought of getting home.

Here's last night's sunset from our cabin's deck, looking across the bay.



Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Altenew Wildflower Garden
ink: Hero Arts soft granite; Archival sky blue, black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: none


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wildflower Garden Again

The next few posts will return us to Altenew's Wildlife Garden, which is a lovely and versatile set. Today's card shows how you can achieve a lovely watercolor effect with these stamps.



These stamps were inked with Memento inks and markers (StampinUp and Memento), spritzed with water, and stamped. I've found that, at least for me, Hero Arts and Archival inks don't respond as well to this technique. The stamped panel wasn't proportional to the card size, so I put the sentiment below the stamped panel. That placement also allows the plant to grow up out of the bottom of the panel rather than be floating above the sentiment.




So this card provides a really good reason to have Memento inks and markers. As if we need a reason to have any supplies.

Seriously.

*insert eye roll here*

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Altenew Wildflower Garden, Papertrey sentiment
ink: Memento, Archival black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: Memento and StampinUp markers, water spritz bottle, rhinestones


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Visual Triangles

Snowflake cards are perfect for practicing visual triangles. Today's cards do just that...one with a portrait layout and the other with a landscape layout.





The three snowflakes on a strip of background are arranged in a visual triangle. I've noted before that the best triangles are irregular. Equilateral or isosceles triangles yield odd-looking designs. I placed the two larger snowflakes on the left and the smallest on the right; balance is maintained by the sentiment. The rhinestones reinforce the triangle.

The background "grounds" the design, but note that the two larger flakes and the sentiment go outside the lines. That keeps the design from being too boxed-in and linear. Both backgrounds were applied with mini ink applicators from Tim Holtz.



The colors were experimental. I wanted a snowflake card that wasn't blue, hence the pink. I really like it, but it doesn't say "Christmas" to me. Pink is also a high-energy color to my eye, and the sentiment calls for something more relaxing...like blue violet.

My preference would be to make the blue-violet version in a portrait orientation. The triangle seems too spread out on the landscape version, at least to my eye.

And that is all I have for Christmas in July, so reader Marilyn will be happy for me to abandon Christmas in July for something floral and summery tomorrow.

We continue to relax on Lake Vermilion. I actually swam in the lake...first time in four visits since 2012 for this Girl Raised in the South, where lake water tends to feel like bath water. This summer, Lake Vermilion is warmer than ever, and I didn't scream like a little girl when I dangled my toe in water that was still ice at the end of April.

Did y'all know that Dante made the lowest level of hell a frozen lake? Being raised in the South, I had always imagined hell as a hot, hot, hot. But then I lived on Lake Huron a few decades ago and learned that, indeed, Dante was right.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Mama Elephant Holly's Snowflakes, Hero Arts sentiment
ink: various dye inks
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, Sharpies to color them

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Peace

I am currently in northern Minnesota in a cabin on Lake Vermilion.

Peace.

We find peace in so many ways, sometimes stumbling on it accidentally and sometimes working hard for it in our relationships, families, communities, nations, and world. It's also wise to cultivate peace deep inside of ourselves.

Today, I went out on the lake in a kayak. Guaranteed peace. There's something about skimming gently over the water in a kayak that instantly relaxes me. Today, I had the added treat of encountering a loon with two babies. The adult loon started vocalizing that wonderful, eerie call. The trio was shortly joined by another adult, exchanging calls with the first. When the newcomer was about twenty feet from the trio, the two babies paddled like crazy toward the newcomer. The four then floated off toward the shore.

This little reunion was so sweet, so gentle, so natural, so simple. What a blessing of peace on a day that started stormy and rough.

Seek after peace and pursue it. 

Here's a third card with Holly's Snowflakes from Mama Elephant. Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All.








Mercy, grace, PEACE, and love from the lake,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Mama Elephant Holly's Snowflakes, Papertrey Signature Christmas
ink: various dye inks
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: silver PrismaColor marker, ruler, rhinestone

Friday, July 6, 2018

Donations from Marcia and Patti

Thanks so much to readers Marcia and Patti for donating their beautiful cards to Karen's Card Shop! Many of your donations are out in the shop right now.

Cards by Patti

Cards by Marcia

Karen's Card Shop has brought in over $1,500 for our church in two years and has funded Cancer--Now What? books, training materials for our Stephen Ministers, and our general fund. Thank you all who have contributed and continue to contribute. 

Patti and Marcia and all the others who help keep the card shop stocked prove that stampers are the best people in the world!

Note: If you are interested in donating, please read the page Karen's Card Shop. We can always use thank you, sympathy, get well, birthday, and religious cards in a standard A2 size. Other themes don't sell very well. Please leave the insides of cards blank. Email me if you have questions! susanraihala at roadrunner dot com.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and gratitude,
Susan

 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Sequins

So Hero Arts mastered the art of updating old supplies, packaging them coolly, and getting me to buy them even though I'd sworn never to buy another sequin ever again.

Diabolical.



At this rate, it will take three of my nine cat lives to use all these sequins. Maybe four.




What supplies do you have in such quantities that you will need multiple cat lives to use them up?

Inquiring minds, and all that.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Mama Elephant Holly's Snowflakes, Papertrey Side by Side Sentiments
ink: various blue dye inks
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: sequins by Hero Arts, glue

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A Day to Celebrate

Happy Independence Day! May your day be safe and firework-y and full of food, family, and friends!



"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence day every July 4, not with a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism." --Erma Bombeck




Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Archival red geranium and Ranger 
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: craft foam, glue


Monday, July 2, 2018

Christmas Red In July

Have you ever felt that life was getting out of your control? That you're moving from one fire to the next, pointing hoses and barely averting catastrophe before another fire pops up to distract you?

Or maybe a better metaphor would be Whack-A-Mole. Yeah. That. I'm standing here in front of a table with moles poking their annoying little heads up for me to whack, but I'm always missing.

That's my life right now.

I might be just a tad melodramatic, but, well, I am.

Anyway, with the little time I had to stamp this weekend, I made a red snowflake card.

Because.

I.

Could.



The stamp set is Mama Elephant's Holly's Snowflakes, which is simply a delightfully designed set with snowflakes of all shapes and sizes and ever so much fun to play with.

The card started off one layer, but I stamped everything about a quarter inch too high and to the right. The finished result looked terribly off balance. Trimmed it down, centered it on a card base, and sighed happily.

Maybe I can balance my life the same way, but it's more fun to simply split infinitives and mix metaphors.

Off to whack some more moles.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Mama Elephant Holly's Snowflakes, Papertrey Signature Christmas
ink: StampinUp real red
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: red rhinestones