Monday, August 14, 2017

Christmas Evolution, Part One

I went to my son's special education open house tonight. He's starting ninth grade, and he was very tired. You see, I asked him a week and a half ago to pull weeds. He kept putting it off until yesterday and today. A job that should have taken one hour has taken him about six because, as he is learning, weeds don't pull themselves while you kneel next to them and daydream.

At the open house, he told every teacher we met that he doesn't want to work. Every teacher said he would have to work...but they would make it fun!

Now, I want to go to ninth grade. Jack wants to stay home, watch movies, eat pretzels, and interact with as few people as possible. Except for band. If school consisted only of band, he'd enjoy it.

Of course, practicing his trumpet at home is work, and he doesn't like work.

My head hurts.

Anyway, today we're starting a three-part series on the evolution of clean-and-simple style by examining how I take a relatively simple design and over the course of three cards make the concept increasingly simple, until a few of you will itch at the amount of white space.

Doesn't that sound like fun?

My first inspiration came from the following pin:


Love this! So much goodness here. My first card shows a pretty direct translation of gift wrapping to a card, although I did change the black to red for a more traditional color scheme.

To create some dimension on the pine branch, I inked up the whole stamp with a Memento new sprout marker, then dabbed Memento bamboo and cottage ivy markers over the new sprout in a random way. Finally, a couple of spritzes of water blended the colors, and the resulting image is lovely! (Note that I did add another frond to the branch as it looked a bit skimpy on the stamped panel.)

This card took a shockingly long time to make. Three attempts on the banner (don't ask) and getting the bow just right and adding to the pine branch...not so simple. Check out the accessories list of NINE items. That never happens.

Tomorrow, we'll see how I took that branch and gave it a CASer setting and much smaller accessory list.

Did I just invent a new word? CASer? Wow. Now I'm too lazy to type cleaner-and-simpler. Jack's rubbing off on me.

And since this post is degenerating into acronym abuse, let's end with two pictures of our roly-poly puppy. He's five weeks old and cute beyond words! Labor Day weekend can't come soon enough.

Serious Pup...or Disapproving Pup. Hard to tell.

Happy Pup. Obviously.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and puppies,

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Hero Arts red royal
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dimensional, craft foam, glue, baker's twine, tape runner (to attach twine on back of raised panel...'cause that's easier than getting the twine lined up regularly), Memento markers, water spritzer, post-its to add frond to branch, awl to punch hole in tag because the hole punch mangled the first two tags, which has never happened before and did not amuse me


  1. Love this! Punch may be dull? try sandwiching a piece of wax paper between a couple sheets of tin foil and then punch several times. I have heard that will sharpen and lubricate the puncher part of the punch. :)
    Lu C

  2. Love the design!!...and can't wait for the 'lessons' to CASer it!!! ♥

  3. Shouldn't it be caseier? We'll see if this card is lovelier than the two that are coming. Sounds like the next two cards will be easier. :)

  4. I adore this card. I can not wait for the next two cards. I love your puppy. God Bless you for all the patience you must have.

  5. The card is lovely but the puppy!!!!! What a doll!

  6. A very sweet card! and an even sweeter puppy! I'm looking forward to your CAS-er versions.

  7. Some of those CAS cards take tons of time and product (and patience, not my long suit [or my short one either]).

    9th grade was the pits! Our school was 7-8-9 and I was a brand new from out of state student in 7th grade. No one wanted to be my friends except a couple of 8th graders. So when I was in 9th they were on to the next school. Plus I was very ill most of the time because the medications you give a child don't necessarily work for a larger adolescent but getting that fixed means caring about and taking your kid to the doctor (not my parent's long suit).

    Go band class!

    1. Oh, no! Middle school is hard enough without adding a move into the mix.

  8. Love your card, but the pics of your puppy made my day!


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