Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Jingle Belles - Pink Christmas II

The second card I did for the Jingle Belles Pink Christmas challenge was a little labor intensive but fun too!  I used a recently purchase Memory Box die - Large Ringlets - and first used it on Whisper White.  Then I went through my cardstock and picked out all the shades of pink that I had, from the lightest Pink Pirouette to Rose Red.  I used the die on all of those colors and then popped out the different pink bubbles and added them to the white framework.  Then I added the bubbles and frame to a panel of Pink Pirouette and layered that onto the Wild Wasabi card base.  How did all those pieces stay put?  Packing tape on the back.


The trees are from SU's Festival of Trees and I used Wild Wasabi and Regal Rose Ink on them.  I added some of the leftover stars from the first card to one of the trees just for a little sparkle.  The sentiment - be merry - is another Essentials by Ellen die, Merry and Bright in Wild Wasabi. 


Hmmm, now that I've blown up these trees in the picture, I think I'll go back and add a little sparkle to the center of the pink flowers on that tree.  

So now it's time to go and check out all the lovely pinkiness that the Jingle Belles have to offer this week.  And remember, anyone can participate in these challenges and if you do make a card and post it, you'll be supporting breast cancer research through the generosity of the Jingle Belle hostesses.

Jingle Belles Pink Christmas


I have to admit that this is one of my favorite Jingle Belles Challenges.  Not just because of the generosity of Lauren and Stephanie who have pledged to donate $4 per card to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, but also because we have to use pink in our Christmas card(s).  And not just a little pink, but as much as we want to.



For my first card I went through my box (ha ha! that would be many boxes) of Christmas ribbon and pulled out those that had pink in them.  I snipped some short lengths of each of them and then played with laying them side-by-side until I found a combination that I liked.  Then, using red line tape, I taped them to some Whisper White CS and used my SU tree punch to punch out my tree.  Punching through ribbon is a little more difficult than just punching cardstock and with the added red line tape, it's even a little harder so you'll have to stand up to use your punch.  Giving your butt a break by standing now and then while crafting is a good thing.   



I found the Recollections Pink Paisley paper at Michael's and used it against a card base of Basic Gray.  I added a doily to the side of the front panel to provide a little "quiet" space for the tree.  The sentiment "Joy" is from the Essentials by Ellen Zipper Panel Die collection and actually the die says "enjoy" but I just use JOY.  That was created with Melon Mambo and layered onto the same in Brushed Silver.  I punched the stars (I hope you can see a little of the ones that I scattered all over the panel) out of silver glitter paper using my new SU star border punch.

(See above post for my second card.)


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Lunar Eclipse



So my excuse for the blurry pictures is that I didn't have my tripod - it's at the condo, but I didn't want to not attempt to get a picture of it since HWNSNBP woke me up early enough.  

We couldn't see the moon from the house, even from the second floor because of all the trees.  I knew I had a little time to find a spot nearby with an unobstructed view before it was over and before HWNSNBP had to leave for work so I quickly got in the car and drove a little ways down the road to a dead end street in the industrial park near us - some high ground.   I tried very hard to use the side view mirror of the car to steady my hand while taking the pictures, and really, when you look at them in the little screen on the camera, you can't tell that they are blurry until you download them in their normal size.    

Once the earth totally blocked the moon that was it for pictures as those trees were now obscuring it and I really needed to get back home.  The moon did not appear red as I looked at it without the camera.  It was only when I zoomed in on it that the color appeared.  

October Anniversary

My son and daughter-in-law had their second anniversary this month.  These poor kids have been waiting a year now for their house to be finished.  They've been staying at our condo during this wait and I know they're getting frustrated.  Thankfully for us though, someone got (and is still getting) good use out of it as I wasn't able to travel back and forth too often both before and after my surgery.

I strayed away from the beach theme this year but I still used their wedding colors.  In fact, I wasn't too pleased with the colors on my first card so I did a second.

First I tried the Anna Griffith die on Sahara Sand over a base of Crumb Cake.   I used my aquapainter to add the color to the embossed areas in Bermuda Bay.  


It was time consuming but the embossing helps to put the ink in the right place.  I went back when it was dry and added some more ink to give the flowers and leaves some shading.  


I thought it could use a little more "pop" so I tried the embossing folder/die in Very Vanilla and again, aquapainted it with Bermuda Bay.


I altered the ribbon placement on the second card.  Then I had to decide which one to put in the mail.


I won't say which one I sent, I'll let you guess.   But now I have an extra card for another occasion!

Walking in Circles

Walking has been a big part of my recovery and we have one area on our property that is fairly flat enough for me use.  Our driveway pulls completely around the back of our house and years ago we turned the very end of it into a partial basketball court - not quite the size of a full half court.  Well, the net was taken down several years ago but the macadam remains and that's where I've been doing my "laps", morning and evening most days.  

I'm very careful to watch where I'm walking and while I was out there a few days ago, this stick that was lying on the ground caught my eye.  I thought it looked like a strange paintbrush so I went back in the house to get my grabby thing to pick it up and get a closer look.






I don't know if it's a fungus or a moss or something else, but I thought it was pretty cool looking.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Doubling Up - Jingle Belles and Merry Monday

Perhaps that title is a little misleading, I'm doubling up the number of Christmas cards I'm making this time, but not combining challenges.  

The first card is for the Jingle Belles challenge to use 3 or more patterned papers on your card.  I am a slacker when it comes to using patterned paper and there's no excuse for it because I have a separate box full of Christmas-themed paper that I keep right at my feet under my work table.  See, this is why I need challenges like this so I can delve into the box and see what comes of it.  Although I did have to get HWNSNBP involved this time because I couldn't pick up the box myself.  That's always a dangerous thing..... inviting him into the stamp cave.  Even more dangerous letting him look underneath the table.  Yikes!  I was  a bit sneaky though and pulled the box out from under the table with my foot, put a big post-it on it with a big X and left him a note on the kitchen counter to please put it on my chair when he got home from work while I was at physical therapy.  


There was a technique challenge recently on Splitcoast called Punch Strips, so I tried it out with these patterned papers and a punch that resembled an ornament.  I found some glittered star buttons that fit perfectly on the top of the "ornaments" and punched a couple other stars in gold foil and gold glitter paper for the top.  I took some red rick-rack and wrapped thin gold thread around it first, made a loopy mess out of the thread and added the stars over the top of it.  


The second card was done for the Merry Monday challenge - to use neon colors on your Christmas card.  I had seen this stamp set used with watercolored backgrounds and some alcohol ink backgrounds but this one is done with daubers.  


I embossed the images from SU's The Newborn King in white EP and then swirled on the colors with my daubers.  Then I did some detail work with my SU markers on the manger scene and star.  This is definitely one of those cards that looks much better IRL.  For whatever reason, it was very difficult to take a clear picture of it, or maybe it was just my eyes last night, but I'm pretty pleased with the way this turned out.  I'd love to hear what you think.

I'm off to visit the Jingle Belles and Merry Monday to see the other wonderful creations. Take a peak!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Primary Colors

Fall has arrived and so have the intense colors that are so beautiful.  But the primary colors stood out for me the other day............

RED


YELLOW


BLUE


Within a day those leaves dried up, curled up, and became crunchy under my feet.  The chrysanthemum is held hostage in it's cage so as not to become dessert for the deer or groundhogs. And the morning glories are taking advantage of the fall angle of the sun and staying open longer into the day, but they will perish as soon as we have a frost.  The weeds that I never got to this summer are brown in the landscape giving the backyard a bit of a meadow-like appearance.  It's pleasing and frustrating at the same time.  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sharing Their Creativity

I had a visitor recently and during the course of our conversation I was telling her all about my interactions with friends that I have made through this blog.  It was when I was showing her my Shabby Charlotte from Clare that I realized that I never shared her here.  Clare makes these adorable little dolls that, as I mentioned she calls Shabby Charlottes.  Each doll is individually handcrafted sometimes with and sometimes without a special person in mind.  Clare names them all and gives them a little story card explaining all about them.

This is Beatrice
"Beatrice is a very special little doll with a wonderful sense of humor and a great smile.  She loves a good cup of tea - preferably in a pretty teacup...and even better if served with fancy little finger sandwiches and pastries...and shared with friends.  Beatrice loves to make things...and is always ready to turn a few simple pieces of paper into a work of art.  She loves nature and sees beauty all around her.  She likes to keep a little bird seed in her bag just in case the mood strikes her to stop and do a little bird watching.  Beatrice is kind, thoughtful, and believes nothing is impossible...why with determination and hope - she even believes pigs can fly."


In Beatrice's purse adorned with a teacup charm is a tiny little folded crane, a little colored pencil, and the tiniest little pouch of tea.

Around her neck is a necklace with a flying pig and around her waist - every at the ready - is a tiny heart stamp.  



She is so special to me.  I am only sorry that I did not share her sooner.  Thank you Clare, and thank you for the wonderful "orange" crane that you sent me to cheer me up during my recovery.  You are so very thoughtful and do know how to cheer me up!


And my blogging friend Sabrina sent me this wonderful card.  I absolutely love this quote.  It says so much about using the gifts that you have - something I feel very strongly about especially when someone questions me about why I spend so much of my time creating.  Don't you just love the sweet little birds!  Thank you Sabrina!


Sabrina had send me some crafting supplies for my birthday and I finally got around to using some of them.  Some little muslin pennants, tiny wood birds, and an assortment of nature printed ribbon.  Hmmm, what to do with these?


I lined the pennant pieces up in this order.....


added some snippets of ribbon to each pennant piece, and stained the little wooden birds with my SU markers to look like bluebirds, then I glued them onto each pennant.  


I tied it around a glass dish that has some plants in it and it looks great (but doesn't photograph well because of the glass).  I'm so pleased with the way this came out.  HWNSNBP even commented that he liked it.  

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Trying Something New with Acetate, Alcohol, and Blendabilities

Yes, that's a mouthful of a title, but when I saw what my friend Michelle had posted on her blog the other day I knew I had to give it a try.  She does great video tutorials and this was no exception.  She used SU's new Blendabilities markers on a piece of acetate and then spritzed/dripped alcohol onto it and let it dry.  


The alcohol treated side is face down on this card and a good thing too, because as Michelle illustrated in her video, I was a bit sloppy stamping my sentiment in Stazon ink on the front so I had to wipe it off (several times I must admit) with a paper towel with alcohol on it before I got it straight.  Like Michelle pointed out, should I have done this on the other side, I would have lost the design.  I CASed the layout that she used for her demo card.  And one thing that I did learn was that transparency film is a little different from acetate.  I had a few sheets of transparency film for copy machines and they must be treated with something to get the toner to stick to them and dry quickly.  Both the pens and the alcohol itself had no movement on the transparency sheet, so I'm glad I was able to put my hands on a piece of acetate to give this a try.  

I used colors from the Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, and Melon Mambo Blendabilities sets.  In contrast I used the challenge that my friend Sabrina posted on Splitcoast on Monday for the Technique Lover's Challenge.  She challenged stampers to use the Stamp Etching technique and to add a little sparkle to note the 500th challenge posted.   So I stamped my flower on Whisper White, used my Micron pen to add the etching lines and fussy cut it out.  The sparkle I added was the three little sequins you see scattered about.  In the picture you can barely make out the mini glue dot that I used (on all four corners) to attach the acetate piece to the card base.  


And just throwing this in here, my anniversary card to HWNSNBP.  We celebrated our 37th anniversary yesterday quietly at home. 


I was aiming to have the bird and branch die (Marianne dies) look like a woodcut.  Actually, I thought about trying to use the etching technique on the die cut but the subject matter was too small for it to have the correct effect.  So I thought this might appear to be etched out of the wood - or carved into it - and stained.  Adding the yellow leaves was an afterthought that I kind of wish I had forgotten about!  I'm really glad that I added color to them or he might have thought they were lemons!  Or maybe he did and just didn't say...................

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Is it Okay to Wear White After Labor Day? Well......

that's not really the question.  Is it okay to use pastel colors on cards after Labor Day?  I guess most people wouldn't think about that, but it did cross my mind this week as I was working on some cards that I needed.  Then I thought about the cards that you would see in the card or grocery stores and they pretty much have pastels for various occasions all year round.  So I think I answered my own question.  

In any case, the sympathy card below was for a co-worker who lost her mother (and, I've come to find out her mother-in-law) in the last week.  What a sad time for their families.  


This card, on the other hand was made for my mother for her birthday coming up this week.  And after I finished it I had second thoughts about the colors thinking that it looked too spring-like .....


so I made another one with more fall-like colors.  


She liked it.  And I guess, since I didn't put a sentiment on the first one, I'll have a nice card to use in the spring for any occasion.  So add this to the advantages of making your own cards - you don't have to settle for pastels year-round, you can choose your own colors and design them for any season.