Saturday, September 23, 2023

A Little Too Clever

So for today's card, I love everything EXCEPT the color choices. You see, I made the flowers a different shade of pink from the bird's breast because I didn't want the card to be too matchy-matchy and in real life, there are differences. 

But my trademark style is matchy-matchy or monochrome. Ugh. And these stylized images don't need a dose of realism; they need coordination! 

At least that's the case in my matchy-matchy world.

Otherwise, I really do love everything about this card, from the Essentials by Ellen (Brandi) stamps and dies to the Spellbinders flower dies to the Copic markers. 

And look, ma! No squares at all!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,


Friday, September 22, 2023

Well, I Guess There Is a Square...but Only One

Yesterday, I promised today's card wouldn't have squares, but I was wrong. Sorry about that.

Today's card uses a really fun 3D embossing folder (cut into a square) and a lovely die from Simon Says Stamp. I painted one of the die cuts with pink shimmer watercolor and added sequins for a bit more shine. 

Those shimmery watercolors are BOMB DIGGITY!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,


Thursday, September 21, 2023

More Squares Plus Some Shimmer

In case you hadn't noticed, I adore cards with circles or squares as accents for the focal point. Like this butterfly backed by shimmery squares of goodness.

The butterfly and sentiment were heat embossed with gold detail embossing powder. I painted the butterfly with pink shimmer watercolors, which I shared a few posts back. For the squares, I painted a piece of watercolor paper with blue shimmer watercolors and, once it was dry, I die cut the squares. 

The next card I post doesn't have squares, I promise. But using a variety of shapes as a backdrop give us minimalist card makers a chance to leave plenty of white space on our cards while not letting them be boring. 

If you've not played around with this idea--so incredibly prevalent on Pinterest!--please give it a try. It's endlessly variable and makes great use of dies!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,


Thursday, September 14, 2023

Hip to Be Square

Today's cards were inspired by THIS PIN by Cecile Ribon. As you can see, both cards follow her focal point layout pretty literally, but the second card adjusts the orientation. 

Both cards arose from an attempt to use older stamps, all from Hero Arts except for the sentiments, which are from MFT...or is it Mama Elephant? Pretty sure it's Mama Elephant. 

I LOVE squares...and my OCD loves them all squared up inside a square, so my favorite is the blue slimline card. Nevertheless, the green portrait card calls to me, too.

The sentiment strips are rather distressed, which is the way they are made, not a result of my over-inking them. I like the hint of distress on otherwise very crisp cards.

Which do you like best?

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,


Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Christmas in September

Today’s card moves us forward in time to Christmas, and it was super fun to make! 

The dies are from Hero Arts, the embossing folder is from Sizzix, the floral stamps for the peace and joy panels are from Altenew, and the love panel stamps come from Hero Arts. 

I didn’t send any handmade Christmas cards last year, and back in April when I made this card, I thought it might be the only Christmas card I made this year. But that was before the BetterPress. I have a few Christmas plates for that and am already playing around with them. So. Much. Fun.


For those interested in sending cards to Karen's Card Shop, we are desperately in need of sympathy and get well cards. We will, of course, gratefully accept thank you, birthday, thinking of you, and friendship/love cards as well. 

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,


Sunday, September 10, 2023

A Little Stamping Does a Heart Good…and So Does New Product!

I'm baaack!

Isn’t our little hobby the BEST? When you’re feeling down and have some funds, you can try something new and perk yourself up nicely!

My hubby agreed that I deserved a bit of a treat after the past year, so I bought the BetterPress system and a bunch of plates and dies. I’ve always wanted to try letterpress, but it seemed so finicky and fiddly and had a too-steep learning curve. The BetterPress is incredibly easy to use and produces amazing results first time!

Jennifer McGuire has some excellent videos on the new system from Spellbinders, and I’m happy to confirm that it’s every bit as wonderful as her videos make it out to be. 

Also, if you have Archival inks from Ranger, you can use those successfully with the BetterPress. The results are fractionally less crisp than with the Betterpress inks, but they are close. The BetterPress inks are only available in 8 colors right now, but that will be expanding in the future. Of course.

Many of the plates are quite large and therefore difficult for the white-space-lover to incorporate into her style. But I persevered and adore the results.

Close cropping of these three blooms gives plenty of room for white space, and coloring the image with metallic watercolors gives it a shimmer hard to capture fully on camera. 

The watercolors are also new. I’ve had a bunch of Twinkling H2Os for years, but the colors are somewhat strange and random. So I purchased this beautiful set:

Personal Update

For those of you interested in my cancer journey, I must say this has been quite a rollercoaster since chemo and radiation treatment ended. Just when it feels like the ride is over, all the sudden, something happens and you start chugging up another hill…only unlike a rollercoaster, it’s not fun at all. 

I’ve been moderately depressed, mainly because the recovery has been sooooo long. I had a leukemia scare (fortunately false!), but that showed me how bad the PTSD is. Sheesh. Those of you who’ve been through this probably know exactly what I’m writing about. It sucks. 

But despite it all, I am so incredibly grateful for all the love and support I’ve received, for the medical care, for the prayers and well wishes. I AM on the mend, but the healing process will take longer than I would wish. And it’s not a steady climb but a rollercoaster of uncertainty. 

New stamping toys help. Just sayin’.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,