Monday, December 5, 2016

Points to Ponder

This one is a little hard to explain, let alone photograph, so bear with me.  I was asked to make a card for a friend of a friend who's having a rough battle with leukemia.  I was told that she's got a great sense of humor, is very smart, and is a heavy metal drummer whose favorite image is a skull!  Right away (since Halloween is over and done with), we're out of our comfort zone here.  Stepping bravely up to the plate, I pulled out a small chipboard binder and pages that I've been saving for something special.  I decided to create an inspirational or humorous thought for each page that would inspire Wendy on her difficult journey.

Starting with the binder, the spine is embellished with some bells, embroidery, and a wooden drum.  I had fun girl-ing up the skull with a bow and some feathers . . .

The next pictures show the pages which I gessoed first, then colored and inserted into the binder in rainbow order. I combined die cuts and stamped images and then left the last page blank so that my friend Sandy could write her own message . . .

I am praying that Wendy emerges victorious from this awful battle . . .

Cardstock:   Maya Road Binder Book 4x4 pages,  Marcos Jute, Generic
                           Red, Strathmore Soft White
Stamps:        Inkadinkado Happy Haunting set: Skull, “It’s been lovely”,
                           Technique Junkies Distressed Lines, River City “Going
                           through hell . . .”, Rango Zoo African Mask, Zettiology “Be
                           a little strange . . .”, Lost Coast “The road to perfection . . .”,
                           River City “Chocolate Truffles”, “Going through hell”, Studio G
                           “Laugh out loud”, Stampin’ Up “One of the good ones”, Funny
                           Bones “Don’t Lead . . .”, Rubber Stamp Tapestry Halloween
                           Plate 1: Skulls and Raven, Rubber Baby Chocolate Postoids,
                           Sunday International “Chocolate”, Unknown Einstein
Inks:               Hero Black, Distress Barn Door, Faded Jeans, Tumbled
                           Glass, Mowed Lawn, Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade,
                           Barn Door
Dies:              Mama Elephant Dainty Bow, DieVersions fonts Noodles, Hint
                           of Lime, Lil Inkers Stitched Mats: Rectangles, DieNamics
                           Wonky Stitch Rectangle Stax, In & Out Stitched Rectangle
                           Squares, Stitched Traditional Tag Stax, Mini Pennants, 
                           Spellbinders Back to Basics Tags, Petite Scalloped Circles
                           Small, Shoot!, QuicKutz Feathers, Marianne Horizon Winter
                           Village, Tiny Flowers Flourish,  Memory Box Holly Vine,
                           Grape Vine Border,
Colored Pencils:  Prisma Crimson Red, Chestnut
Emb Folder: Taylored Expressions Weathered, Tim Holtz Gearhead         
Doo Dads:    Wink of Stella Clear, Blue jute

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Noel Ornaments

Back in the day, when I had only twenty or so friends on my Christmas card list, I embroidered my cards.  Recently, I discovered several embroidered pieces that somehow never got transformed into cards.  So I decided to turn them into ornaments instead.  The first picture shows the packaging that I used for each ornament . . .

The second picture shows both sides of the ornaments.  With a current Christmas card list of some 85 friends and family, I'm not likely to go back to embroidering my cards any time soon.  So this year's limited edition is probably my swan song for this stitchery technique that I still enjoy working with.  

Sigh . . . too bad I can't do absolutely everything that I want to!

Cardstock:   Marcos #110 Jute, Various pre-printed scrapbook papers
Stamps:        Alias Smith & Rowe Flowers/Swirls Background,
                           Raindrops on Roses Stardust, Stampin’ Up To/From
Inks:               VersaMark, Brilliance Rocket Red, ColorBox Black
Emb Powder:  Judikins Detail Black
Dies:              Spellbinders Classic Circles Large, 2013 Heirloom
                           Ornament, Memory Box Garden Sprig, Mama Elephant
                           Dainty Bow
Doo Dads:    Embroidered “NOEL”, Art Glitter Green Briar, Sulyn
                           Glitter Ruby

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thank You

When Josephine, a very dear friend, went home to England for a visit recently, she came across a handful of rubber stamps her sister had owned.  She brought them back and gifted me with them.  Inspired by Beatrix Potter, this adorable image of her popular "Hunca Munca" mouse character was one of them . . .

I used a couple of quilted motifs to set off the warm and cozy image of the mouse gathering her tulips.  "Cute" stamps are not usually my style, but my heart really warmed to this one, enhanced no doubt by the loving generosity of my friend.

Cardstock:   Co-Ordinations Nostalgic Greys pack, The Paper Cut White
                           Matte Coate, Generic Pink
Stamps:        PSX Hunca Munca Mouse
Inks:               Memento Tuxedo Black
Dies:              Lil Inker Stitched Mats: Squares, Wplus9 Quilt Cuts 2, Frantic
                           Stamper Alternating Diagonals, Savvy Thank You Cursive
Markers:        Copic R81 Rose Pink, RV13 Tender Pink, YG 67 Moss,
                           BG13 Mint Green, E84 Khaki, T1 Toner Gray 1,
                           W2 Warm Gray 2
Doo Dads:    Kaiser Pearls Blush

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Blossom of Love

As many frame stamps and frame dies that I have, I never seem to have the correct size of one that will work seamlessly with the other . . .

 Solution?  Matting!   The blue matting I used here covered up a narrow space of open real estate on both inner sides of the frame.  The top and bottom were perfect, but had the sides been left as they were, it would have looked pretty careless.  Repeating the color of the blossoms with the matting turned out to be the best solution . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Bon Bon, Jacaranda, Beckett Candlelight
Stamps:        Stacy November Spider Mum, Red Rubber “Harvest a
                           blossom . . .”
Inks:               Archival Potting Soil, Wink of Stella Clear
Emb Powder:   Unknown Blue Verdigris
Dies:              DieNamics Chalkboard Frame Builder, La La Land
                           Stitched Ribbon
Pencils:         Derwent Inktense Fern, Iris Blue
Emb Folder: Darice Basket Weave
Doo Dads:    Gold Dragonfly charm

Monday, November 21, 2016

Gathered In

Gina K's Charcoal Brown cardstock is the color by which all other browns are measured, in my opinion.  A true dark chocolate without a whiff of red, this rich color makes other colors really pop . . .

I helped the pop factor along by using foam dots to elevate the upper ends of the wheat stalk, pumpkin, squash and the leaves.  Although there is a lot of dark in this layout, I think the bright veggies counterbalance that and create a warm, cozy feel. 

One happy discovery was finding out how Copic markers react with the cardstock I used for the veggies:  The Paper Cut's White Matte Coate.  I found that the coating made the Copics stay wetter longer so blending was easier.  But even more fun was observing  the interaction between the coating and the ink:  this produced a watercolored effect, complete with darker margins and lovely streaks.  These may be hard to see on screen, but in real life, they're quite obvious.  Previously, I wasn't happy with this cardstock, but I'm going to give it a second chance with my Copics . . .

May each of you have a wonderfully glorious and gratitude-filled Thanksgiving Day!

Cardstock:   Gina K Charcoal Brown, Neenah Desert Storm, The Paper
                           Cut Matte Coate White
Stamps:        Stampin’ Up Truly Grateful, Impression Obsession
                           “All is safely . . .”
Inks:               Gina K Charcoal Brown
Markers:        Copic Napoli Yellow, Apricot, Marine Green, Pecan,
                           Tuscan Orange, Stampin’ Up Daffodil Delight
Emb Powder:   PSX Ochre Tapestry, Distress Walnut Stain
Dies:              Avery Elle Wonky Stitches, Impression Obsession Wheat,
                           Essentials by Ellen Gourd-jus, Spellbinders Long Classic
                           Scalloped Rectangles Large
Emb Folder: Spellbinders Horsehair      

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thanks So Much

One of these days, I'd like to start making my own wood cut stamps.  They have a charm all their own and I think that the results will be pretty forgiving, even for an amateur like me . . .

 Until that day comes, I'm happy that a number of companies have produced wonderful wood cut images for us to choose from . . .

Texture was added with the mosaic background and also with some gold mini beads added to the center of the lower flower.  I haven't seen these tiny beads used lately – hopefully, they'll come back into favor as I think they have a lot to offer . . .

Cardstock:              Marcos Antique Linen, Beckett Candlelight, Generic 
                                     Red, Green
Stamps:                   Art Accents Woodcut Sunflower, Stampin' Up Thanks
Inks:                           Kaleidacolor Autumn Leaves
Emb Powder:          Vippies Transcendence
Punches:                  McGill Labels                                    
Emb Folder:             Cuttlebug Mesh
Doo Dads:                Antique Copper brads, gold mini beads               

Monday, November 14, 2016

Thank You

I'm not a fan of Winter.  Therefore, I love to use Spring and Summer colors throughout the cold and blustery days of dreary winters.  They are great reminders of the lovely weather to come . . .

 Some green lattice, crisp white, and bright pinks come together on this card to add a little gentle cheer to those difficult days of single digit temperatures.

Cardstock:              Beckett Candlelight, Generic Dark Green
Stamps:                   Hero A Real Long Stemmed Wildflower, Savvy
                                       Thank You Trail
Inks:                         ColorBox Queue Chalk Warm Red, Rouge, Rose
                                       Coral, Ancient Page Pine
Emb Powder:          Vippies Transcendence
Punch:                      EK Success corner punch
Doo Dads:                Green grosgrain ribbon, copper butterfly charm