Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Vellum Inspiration

THIS PIN from Yvonne inspired today's card, which uses a vellum overlay, botanical images, and a white die-cut word. Thanks for the inspiration, Yvonne!



My card showcases the new StampinUp set Forever Fern. These images don't layer nicely (trust me, I tried...it looked a mess!), so I used masks cut with the coordinating dies to bunch the images together. If you look carefully at the close-up below, you'll see slight gaps where the die cuts were too large for a proper mask, but you also probably wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't pointed them out. Without the vellum overlay, these gaps would bother me enough to fussy cut a better mask, but in this case, I'm fine with the gap. 


Today, I felt the need to flee my house for a bit, so I went to Marco's Paper and bought a few Copics and Distress inks. Yes, I wore a mask, as was everyone else in the store. Yes, I used hand sanitizer in my car before I went in and on my way out of the store. Yes, I washed my hands with hot water and soap for the length of the Lord's Prayer when I got home. 

I hope you're staying safe and protecting others, too. And stamping. Because making pretty stuff is also pretty therapeutic. 

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,
Susan

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Twinkling H2Os--Oh, My!

Okay, so today's card isn't the best design in the world (feels sort of squat and clunky to me--kind of like me, actually, after so many days of quarantine eating), but two things about this card send me over the moon: the Subtle Textile embossing folder and the Twinkling H2Os, which I'd practically forgotten about. 



I randomly splodged three shades of Twinklings (two greens and a blue) onto a piece of watercolor paper and let them dry. The branch is a die from the Forever Fern bundle from StampinUp. 

Check out that shimmer!



*swoon*

The Subtle Textile embossing folder makes the perfect, subtle (surprise!) backdrop, and I am so looking forward to playing with it more. 

If you, like I, have a half-forgotten stash of Twinkling H2Os (or similar shimmery watercolor), you might enjoy, as I have, taking them out and playing with them again. They really are swoon-worthy. 

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,
Susan

Monday, June 29, 2020

Coloring Die Cuts

While surfing on Pinterest, I saw a picture of someone watercoloring a die cut and thought, huh. That looks smart. 

And it is not only smart, but it's easy.




For this technique, I used watercolor paper for the die cuts (Tim Holtz dies, by the way), a water brush, and distress inks. I smooshed the ink cubes onto a spare piece of transparency, picked up the ink with the brush, and colored the die cuts, letting each color dry before adding the other colors. 



The iridescent pearls on the Healing Wishes card are beautiful!



The spatters on the sympathy card were made with a regular watercolor brush. 

Bottom line, this technique is easy and fun, and I'm probably the last to discover it. ;-)

I have a tiny, little mini-rant. Can we please stop parent shaming? I witnessed an incident of parent shaming yesterday (not aimed at me). It caught me totally off guard, came from an unexpected source, and took me a while to process. Did I hear correctly? (Yep.) Seriously? (Yep.) At church? (Yep.) Was it necessary? (Nope.) Absolutely not. Did it upset the parents who were targeted? You bet it did.

Brene Brown recently posted a video in which she promoted the idea of assuming everyone is doing their best. The vast majority of us are...and we're doing fine. Just like these parents who were just living their lives. 

Assume everyone is doing their best.

Let's go with that, shall we? 

Thank you for listening. 

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and KINDNESS, 
Susan 


Sunday, June 28, 2020

Summer Silhouettes


While I revisited old stamps a few weeks ago, StampinUp's Summer Silhouettes begged to be used again. ("Use me, please! I'm so thirsty for ink! Come on. You know you want to....")

It's such a swell set, with the two-step Queen Anne's lace image, so I decided to use some circles (grounded with the pretty lattice border stamp from the set). 


Since I didn't have cardstock to match the soft lilac ink (Hero Arts), I inked up a largish shadow stamp, stamped some white cardstock, and then punched out the lilac circle. 

Shadow stamps are awesome!

And so is purple. I really don't use it enough. 



Last post had some really fun comments! Thanks to all who left them. Several people emailed regarding my StampinUp order. Here you go:



Basically, I needed a cherry cobbler reinker and got a little carried away. 

The die set goes with Forever Fern, and the embossing folder is Subtle Textile...which is A-MAZING! I'll be posting pictures of a few cards with Forever Fern soon. 

Survival strategy for this week: temporary news black-out. Will pick back up in a few days. Need to get sane again. I'm also reading a Lady Darby mystery, teaching a Zoom class on listening tomorrow morning, scheduling my younger son's sports physical for marching band, scheduling myself an eye appointment, and planning a Facebook Live devotional for Friday. 

What survival strategy are you employing this week?

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,
Susan


Thursday, June 25, 2020

Perfect Beer Can Birthday Cake

This darling little birthday cake on a platter is from The Stamping Village Happy Birthday set and is Pink Fresh Studio's contribution to the set. It's the perfect dainty size for me, and the darling tiny sprig of leaves is just perfect.


Honestly, I think my matting here is too clunky for the image, but I love the colors and the fact the DMC floss matched the ink perfectly. That just doesn't happen often enough in my world. 




The colors are a repeat of the beer can colors from yesterday's post. If you get a pop up asking for your birthday, just put a year in that gets you to the legal drinking age in the U.S. (21). So basically, any year before 1999.

My use of "Bob's your uncle" provoked some comments. I had no idea that the phrase wasn't widely known because it's been in my lexicon for forever. I googled it to find out where it came from, and it's common in Ireland, Great Britain, and the Commonwealth. Hmm. I distinctly remember my very southern grandmother using it. It means "there you have it," a concluding phrase that's humorously satisfying. 

I love English. I sure hope I get to teach it this fall. At the moment, it's not looking too good. 

What are some phrases you use that make you giggle? Inquiring minds, and all that.  

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,
Susan

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Beer Can Inspiration

Last week, my husband opened a can of beer, poured his glass, and set the can down in front of me. I squealed, "This color combination is AMAZING!"

Yes. Yes, it is.


This stamp comes from The Stamping Village set called Happy Birthday and was Avery Elle's contribution to the set. I colored it by scribbling watercolor crayon onto a scrap of transparency and painting it onto the balloons. The card looked okay but really needed something to ground the stamped panel. Since there was quite a bit of color left on my transparency, I painted the lines onto a random strip, trimmed it down, and Bob's your uncle!



What a satisfyingly simple card. 

Tomorrow, my first order from StampinUp in years will arrive. Can't wait to play! What new crafty item have you bought lately that have you itching to play? OR what old item (like watercolor crayons!) have you taken out to play lately? OR answer both!

See Mary Stamp commented on my last post with the suggestion of adding kindness to my tag line. I love this! So here it is.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,
Susan

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Live Simply

For years, I've studied minimalism...in design and in life. I'm not a minimalist because, well, craft supplies and books. Plus, I'm married to a maximalist and birthed two maximalists as well. 

But I do have a minimalist wardrobe and design sense. The New Hero Arts sentiment set called Zen Messages has this lovely Live Simply sentiment that speaks to my soul!


The window was made with a Hero Arts square die and then trimmed evenly on three sides. It's raised on dimensional tape. The background colors are Distress shabby shutters and tumbled glass. The branch is from a Tim Holtz die and the butterfly is from a Tim Holtz punch. 



I shared with my beautiful friend (from yesterday's post) that I had hit a wall today. So sad, frustrated, angry, depressed! She texted back: "The world is crazy and I've made the decision to just worry about my corner of it. It helped me." Her words helped me, too. And maybe you need to read them as well. 

Do you try to live simply? If so, how? If not, what do you love about your complicated, messy life?

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan