Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Happy Colors

Have any of you noticed that Memento markers have more intense color than the pads? This card is living proof of that. Colored with markers, the card has fun, bold colors that pop right off all that white.

Lady bug, rose bud, lilac posies, and tangelo are the marker colors. All give much more intense color than the pads ever yield. Normally this annoys me because I prefer them to match. But in this case, the intensity works in my favor, so YAY!

What I love about this layout is how everything is so centered and perfect...yet the sentiment throws a pleasingly asymmetrical monkey-wrench into the mix. Curves and points, long and short, round and rectangular. Fun tension is going on here.

The orange enamel dot subtly reinforces the focal point of the orange petal. And orange is such a happy color!

Happy Hump Day!

stamps: Papertrey Modern Basics
ink: Hero Arts intense black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: Memento markers, enamel dot

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Modern Basic Squared

It's a late night. We sent our younger son off for his eighth grade trip to Washington DC. If you're the praying kind, please pray for their safe travel, safe exploration of our nation's capital, and safe return. Oh, and for the sanity of the chaperones and teachers and nurses because, dang, those men and women are brave!


Tonight's cards take full advantage of bright, glowing colors and fun enamel dots.The stamps are Papertrey's Modern Basics...same as on yesterday's card.

inks: Impress Fresh Ink sky blue, Memento Luxe Bahama blue

Inks: Impress Fresh Ink ginger, Memento Luxe Morocco

Layering the large and medium leaf shapes for these flowers was pretty easy with a gridded acrylic block and careful alignment. I found doing this same layering with the small leaf shape was a nightmare. Couldn't get them lined up consistently at all. Whatever. These two bold, beautiful cards more than make up for that failure.

The blue enamel dot has sparkle in it, while the orange one is a standard shiny dot. The world needs more sparkle dots, doesn't it?

Blessings to all. And good night.

stamps: Papertrey Modern Basics
ink: listed in captions
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: enamel dots

Monday, October 24, 2016

Making Lemonade out of Lemons

Not sure what prompted me to pull out Papertrey's Modern Basics set and play around, but that's what happened this weekend. I thought one of my cards might make a good lesson in rethinking a failure.

First up, the failure. I really hate two-step stamping that's hard to line up.

If you zoom in, you'll notice that the middle butterfly is poorly aligned. In real life, it's VERY noticeable. The top one isn't perfect, either, but much less noticeably so. The bottom one is as close to perfect as can be, and as I sat staring sadly at this failure in both alignment and design (which is very meh), it occurred to me that the bottom butterfly and sentiment COULD be salvaged.

And then this card happened.

While it's not perfect, it is solid. I prefer my butterflies to fly free, and that green line sort of restricts flight, but it also points up, which is good. The green and white is also quite cheerful and upbeat, and the bling is, well, blingity. So there's that.

A definite improvement over the first effort, wouldn't you say?

Don't forget to enter the giveaway from yesterday's post!

stamps: Papertrey Modern Basics, Clearly Besotted A Little Sentimental
ink: Hero Arts green hills, charcoal; Archival emerald
paper: Papertrey white, StampinUp green galore
accessories: craft foam, glue, rhinestones  

Sunday, October 23, 2016

One for Three, or Maybe Four, and Thus a Little Giveaway

Let's revisit this year's personal challenge to make three cards from as many different Christmas stamp sets as I can tolerate. Today's spotlight lands on Papertrey's Silent Night set. I've made three cards and a bookmark.

My favorite of all four projects is this unexpected aquamarine and red card. I've always used this sentiment with subdued blues and silvers...nighttime colors...and I've always thought the resulting cards turned out boring. (See third card below.) But this time, I decided to make it more energetic and celebratory and fresh. And I love it! Plus, check out the bling, small to large, arranged in a visual triangle and ever so sparkly!

*happy sigh*

Ink: Archival aquamarine and red geranium

Then I went VERY minimalist with the "Wise men still seek Him" saying. This sentiment usually accompanies an image of camels and kings traveling in a desert, chasing a star. The only things I kept were the sand dunes, hand cut with a craft knife, highlighted with gold marker, and the star.

Ink: Archival deep violet, Delicata gold

Finally, the last card uses the giant star in the set, highlighted by three small stars. I love the arrangement of the stars, but wish I'd left off the sentiment or put it inside. The color combo of silver and navy is kind of boring.

Ink: Delicata silver, Hero Arts navy

And now the fourth project: a fun bookmark that I'd intended to use with my Advent study. But after talking with my pastor, I ended up buying a study on my Nook and therefore don't need a bookmark. (Since some of you will ask, I am reading The Case for Christmas by Lee Strobel this December.)

So I will send this bookmark to a randomly selected winner from the comments on this post. Just tell me what your favorite holiday book is. If, like me, you don't have a favorite, just share a random one you really like a lot. For me, what popped into my head first was Ann Voskamp's The Greatest Gift. A minute from now, Olive, the Other Reindeer might pop in there.

You just never know with me. Which Susan will show up? The compassionate, kind, spiritual-fruit growing, mature Susan who loves Jesus, teaches Bible studies, and practically lives at the church; or the intellectual, cynical Susan who drinks red wine, reads boldly and widely, and might occasionally swear a little; or the laughing, silly, utterly juvenile Susan who almost lost it when her younger son pointed at a giant mercury-glass pear at the Macy's furniture store and said, "I really like that glass pear."

Giant glass pears, people! On sale at Macy's! Why do I not have one?!?!

Anyway. I hope you'll play along with the giveaway so we can amass a long list of holiday books because Heaven knows I don't have enough books.

Deadline for the giveaway will be Wednesday night at midnight, Eastern Daylight Savings Time.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

IC568 It's a 3 x 3 Party!

This week's inspiration challenge is to make a 3" x 3" card inspired by this Pinterest board. It's been quite a while since I played around with this size card, and it was so much fun!

My first card was inspired by this pin. I was inspired by the black-and-white colors and simplicity of one image with one sentiment.

Size 3" x 3". Stamps: Penny Black Peace and Harmony,
Papertrey Winterberry; Ink: Memento Luxe tuxedo black

The next two cards were not inspired by particular pins, though I had looked through all the inspiration board, so similarities between mine and any of them are likely subliminally influenced!

Size 3" x 3". Stamps: Papertrey Peaceful Poinsettia;
Ink: Ranger Archival red geranium. Accessories:
Swarovski crystals, glue pen, tweezers 

Size 3" x 3". Stamps: Winnie and Walter; Ink: Ranger Archival
red geranium; Accessories: holly glitter sticker

All three cards have craft foam behind the raised panel.

My plan for these is to wrap gifts in white paper and use these as tags with coordinating ribbon. I'll probably use silver ribbon with the black card.

Playing around with this smaller format is extremely fun. I hope you'll join in with the challenge and enjoy!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Primary Trees

Experimenting to solve a problem can yield great results. It can also be a total bust. As Adam Savage of Mythbusters says, failure is always an option.

But we've discussed how there really is no failure in papercrafting. There are opportunities for embellishment and learning experiences. It is, after all, only paper.

This time, my experiment worked. As I mentioned yesterday, the tree in Hero Arts' Color Layering Fall Tree set is just a bit too big and also a bit too small for a single image to work on a standard 4.25" x 5.5" one-layer card. It's perfectly sized for layering, though, which is--let's be honest--what most card makers do. Being who I am, however, I'm always looking for the simplest minimalist design that works, and this set wasn't working for me with a standard one-layer card.

By downsizing the card base to 3 3/8" x 4 7/8", I was able to get much better proportions, and the results let me play around with primary colors and bling in ways that make my heart happy!

These three cards are also proof of my hypothesis that you can never have too many shades of ink.


Inks: Hero Arts fresh peach, pale tomato, red royal;
Archival coffee

Inks: Hero Arts soft vanilla, lemon yellow, butter bar;
Archival saffron, coffee

Inks: Hero Arts charcoal, soft sky, dusty blue;
Memento Danube blue

Each card stamped all five layers of leaves, although there were only three shades of red, four of yellow, and three of blue. I duplicated colors as I layered to make up the difference. The darkest layer was always the stamp at the bottom of the set. Clearly, however, I need more ink so I can have five shades of every color.

Because that would be fabulous.

The image also looks good with different colors on a single tree, but definitely experiment before stamping on a project. I found that some color combos looked chaotic rather than harmonious if there was too little or too much of one color. Find the right balance on cheap scrap paper first, and you won't regret it.

Since bling makes everything better, I added two shades and two sizes of bling to each card. The effect is lovely, don't you think?

To arrange the bling, I put three medium rhinestones in an irregular triangle and added tiny rhinestones in two irregular on each side of the tree. The results look random but are in fact carefully planned. As you do this, try not to let three rhinestones line up perfectly, at least for the majority of them. There's one trio in the yellow card that's actually pretty lined up, but the middle one is larger than the two ends so it doesn't throw off the random feel. Even just a tiny deviation in spacing and angles keeps it random-looking.

The bottom corners looked too pointy given the curves of the tree, so I rounded them.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Have an amazing weekend. We're getting pumpkins and apple fritters tomorrow. It's finally feeling like fall in Ohio. YAY!!!

stamps: Hero Arts Color Layering Fall Trees, Wplus9 Silver Bells (sentiment on holiday card)
ink: see captions
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, corner rounder

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thanksgiving Crusade Gets Layered

I'm sure NONE of you knows ANYTHING about impulse purchases. No. You're all so restrained and sensible when it comes to craft purchases. You walk right past the Hero Arts Color Layering Fall Trees set and think, "Well, now isn't that pretty! But I don't need it so nope, nope, nopity-nope nope."

You're better people than I am.

Or perhaps not. Perhaps you DO know a thing or two about crafty temptation.

Isn't it delightful? Of course, it is.

Anyway. Here's my first successful card with this very cool set.

I can't tell you what joy it is to play around with every color of the rainbow with this set. Oh, my. I need more shades of ink for sure. Oh, wait. I did just order a whole bunch of Archival and Distress ink pads that should arrive early next week. Yay!

Abandoning myself to consumerist culture is so. much. fun.

Design Note
This image presents a design dilemma for the CAS stamper. Its size is both a bit too big and a bit too small to stand alone on a standard 4.25" x  5.5" one-layer card. The proportion of inked space to white space simply doesn't work as well. There must be something else to carry the design...layers, a ribbon, embellishments, something. My next experiment with this set will be to try it on a smaller note card...maybe 3 1/2" x 4 7/8", for which there are ready-made envelopes.  I'm hoping for success there, because, as much as I love these white-on-white layers, I really want this beautiful image and the colors it showcases to be the whole focus.

A Personal Note and My Soapbox
My plan was to finish this post last night while my son Jack was getting ready for bed. Nick, my older son, was going with a school group to see Jersey Boys, the Broadway touring show about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.Well, at 7:10, Nick called to tell me that some kids were no-shows, and the extra tickets could be used by parents who wanted to go. The only catch...the doors to the Schuster Center would close at 8:00. George couldn't go (he needed to get up extra early for work this morning) but I WAS ALL OVER THIS! After a mad dash into Dayton, I sprinted through the doors just before they closed, sat down amidst a bunch of teenagers (some of whom had no idea that Frankie Valli was a real person) and enjoyed a FABULOUS show. I got home way too late to blog about anything but my pillow.

What a great opportunity, but it revealed a serious shortcoming in our culture. How in the world are teens not learning about their parents' and grandparents' music? I grew up listening to my grandparents' favorites on vinyl played on a massive stereo cabinet that took pride of place in their small home and to my parents' favorites played on smaller stereos and 8-track tapes, and now there are my favorites, played via CD or bluetooth for my children much of their lives. Our elders' music becomes the soundtrack of our childhood.

We drag previous generations' music forward in this way, yet some children appear to be denied this heritage. It made me sort of sad, in a first-world kind of way.

And while we're on the topic of music, let me go on record (pun alert!) as saying that the Nobel committee's choice of Bob Dylan for the prize in literature was fabulous, and I'm not even a big Dylan fan. The objections to him smack of cronyism and snobbery, neither of which should carry any weight in the arts.

Whew. I feel better for having gotten all that off my chest. Thanks for listening. Or reading. Whatever we want to call this. Feel free to share your thoughts about the card, the design note, or my soapbox in the comments. I promise you I read and appreciate every comment!

Blessings to all. I'm off for a nap.

stamps: Hero Arts Color Layering Fall Trees, Clearly Besotted A Little Sentimental
ink: various Hero Arts and Archival
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones