Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Star in the East Card

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to all people on whom his favor rests.”  Luke 2:8-14

Merry Christmas to all!
I will post again in 2015.

Card Details: Folded white card stock 5"x 6 1/2"; emboss 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" white card stock with diamond textured background (Stampin' Up); mount on gold metallic paper leaving 1/8" border; stamp star (Eureka! Stamps) and sentiment (Inkadinkado) with gold pigment ink and heat emboss with gold detail powder; mount on gold card stock; adhere to embossed background with mounting tape. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December Birthday Cards

Holidays and seasons are easy jumping off points for birthday card designs. I have made a star spangled card for someone with a July 4th birthday. I have used hearts in abundance for those fun valentine birthdays. My birthday even falls on Thanksgiving every seven years, and a cornucopia does make a lovely image on the front of a card.  But on these occasions the birthday theme still tops them all. 

December birthday cards deserve more cupcakes, balloons, and bright colors to set them apart from the holiday that envelopes the month. I have a number of friends with a birthday in December, and I won't sneak in a birthday wish with the elves and Santa, and I steer clear of red and green. They know I am celebrating their special day – when I remember to send them a card, that is. Hmm, maybe this year I will send them all a link to my blog.  

Card Details: Finished cards 4 1/4' x 5 3/4"; card stock, stamps, ink, and ribbons by Stamping' Up; printed paper by DCWV.  Balloons on the blue card are done by repeat stamping without re-inking. Cake on the pink card is stamped twice; once with pale pink then stamped over with a medium pink.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

It Looks Like a Christmas Card

At first glance you would think this is a Christmas card with the wreath, red, green, and gold, but take a closer look. The message sets it apart. It's not a holiday greeting, though it might work as one looking forward to the new year.  I made this card and a set like it, to send to the women I meet with every week for what we call Bible Therapy Group. These women are a treasure. We lift each other up when needed and celebrate whenever we can. Best of all—we laugh A LOT.

We finished our book for the semester, and this one verse came up more than once.  And, I just happened to have a stamp with the verse on it. (I love when that happens!) 

"He who has begun a good work in you will carry it on until the day of Christ." Philippians 1:6.
It's a reminder that we are each a work in progress.  God is not finished with us, yet. 

Card Details: Folded white card is 5"x 5"; round top corners; trim textured red card stock to leave 1/8" border; round top corners; cut out gold circles 4 1/4"; green circles 4"; stamp sentiment (My Sentiments Exactly) with green ink (old olive, Stamping' Up) on cream card stock and cut out 3 3/4" circle; on gold card stock  2 3/4" circle stamp wreath elements (Rubber Stamp Tapestry, Art Impressions, Stamping' Up) using Kaleidacolor's Flannel rainbow ink pad; add red gem embellishments. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Cards

Happy Thanksgiving.  May our families, friends, and feasts remind us of the multitude of blessings we have, and may the day fill our hearts with such gratitude that we do not forget to say thank you every day after. 

Card Details:  Finished card size: 5" x 3.5";  Colored card stock: craft brown, yellow gold, and garden green; embossed with Sizzix lines and dots folder; Stampin' Up sentiment; Fiskar leaf punch using various printed papers. Inks: Basic Brown and Garden Green by Stamping' Up and  Potters Clay by Memento. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Pre or Post Holiday Card

If I let it, the last quarter of the year can be blur. The operative word there is "if" not "blur". I am as intentional as I can be about how and where I spend my time in November and December, refusing all along to get caught up in commercialism and unreal expectations. Sometimes the best way to do that is to sit quietly and breathe deeply.  

What about the first quarter of the new year? Will I let the equally unreal exceptions of an imagined clean slate put pressure on me to perform, too? Or will the cold and grey days of winter steal my joy? To fight them both, sometimes I sit quietly and breathe deeply.  

This wonderful hobby of mine gives me peace throughout the year.  It's what I do to challenge my creativity; to feel unique; to express my devotion to my friends and family. I sit quietly, breathe deeply, and make cards. 

Card Details: 5.5" x 5.5" pre-printed folded card (We R Memory Keepers); place gray floral washi tape (Wamon) on the bottom edge; stamp image (Stampers Anonymous) in colonial blue pigment ink (Color Box) on white card stock and heat emboss with clear detail embossing powder (Stamp It); trim image and round corners; mount on blue card stock and adhere to the folded card.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Card Just for You

Squirrels and hedgehogs have been kinda trendy for a while, and not only in the paper craft world, but that is a bonus for this card. I have a niece for whom these darling critters are not only trendy, but a working passion. Among her many talents and jobs with the care of wild animals, she has rehabilitated numerous baby squirrels.  This card is for her, but it's cute enough to send to anyone this time of year.

My hobby is completely validated when I can say, that I bought this stamp or that punch to make a card for one particular person. Sometimes I want the card to come screaming out of the envelope, "I made this just for you.", and other times I want it to whisper, "Did you notice this is just for you?". The challenge and fun are using those unique items again to make cards for anyone, whether they follow Biddy the Hedgehog on Instagram or not.  

Card Details: Folded vanilla cardstock 4 1/4 x 5 1/2. Emboss the front of the card with squirrels and hedgehogs (Lifestyle Crafts); stamp acorn (Stamping' Up) in brown ink twice on three colors of paper, fussy cut the tops and nuts separately, adhere them in varying patterns; trim stamped image with deckle edge scissors; adhere over a brown ribbon using mounting tape. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Dickens of a Card

Stamping is such a tactile endeavor. That's my favorite part about it. The constant hands on element, the touching of little parts and pieces, satisfies that need to be creative with my hands.  And yet, the desire to create begins way before the color of the paper and ink is even considered. 

It begins with the selection of the stamp. Whether they are cling stamps or wooden, I have to touch them first.  I rummage through my collection, handling them until there is one that does not leave my hand, and I think one of two things. It's either: "Ooh, I know what I'll do.", or it's: "Aww, I remember why I bought this stamp."  

I made a set of these cards to give as a gift to my nephew and his wife after the birth of their son. I could have easily enough found a quote on the internet and printed it off in matching ink for my cards, but instead I rummaged first. I picked up the Dickens quote. It has no artist or vendor identification, but I know I bought it in Virginia over 14 years ago, and I used it for the birth announcements I made for my second daughter.  Aww! 

Card Details: Folded white card is 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches; emboss Night of Navy paper (Stampin'Up) with hearts (The Paper Studio); round all corners and trim to leave a 1/4" border on the white card. Stamp "Swinging on a Star" (PrintWorks) and sentiment (unidentified) in Night of Navy ink on white card stock; color star and ribbon using markers and colored pencils (Crayola, Cyklop Aquarell, Stampin' Up); add diamond embellishment to ribbon; stamp baby image on printed paper; cut out pajamas and lay over first image; adhere star with mounting tape; adhere sentiment on printed paper and trim to 1/4 " border; adhere to embossed paper.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Masculine Card Attempt

Seven male relatives. That's all I have on both sides of the family. I try to make each one a birthday card every year, but it doesn't always happen.  Some years I leave it to my husband to send cards to his Dad and brother. He buys the funny ones that hint to the inside family jokes, and he mails them so they arrive on time. The cards I make for my nephews are almost always late. I figure, "They're in college. They won't care." I should give them more credit.  They're smart, creative, and really nice. And, so go my excuses for my own brother and brothers-in-law.  What's the real reason their cards don't always get made or mailed?  Making masculine cards is a challenge for me. 

It is not as simple as using masculine colors like black and tan, which is really what I was hoping when I made these.  No matter the color, bows are feminine. Period. Pink & green bows are cute, and black & tan bows are sophisticated. Lucky for me that works out just fine for the four women who received these cards.

(I do think the first card would have been fine to send to a man in my family, but the sentiment "Age takes its toll. Please have exact change." was perfect for my sister-in-law.) 

Card Details:  All cards are 4 1/4 x 5 1/2.  Paper: Echo Park Paper and Paper Studio.  Stamps: "Age...", River City Rubber Works; HBD square, Stampin' Up; Cupcake, Artful Inkalbes; HBD cake/gifts, Hero Arts.  Punch: Birthday Large Edger, EK Tools

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Card for World Card Making Day

It's World Card Making Day and though my card has no international ties, it is transcontinental. I live in Georgia, but I bought this stamp from a scrapbooking and rubber stamp store called Doodle Bugs in Sequim, Washington. It's a wonderful shop, and I was thrilled to find two stamps that will always remind me of our first (and hopefully not last) family vacation to the Northwest.

"Latte" (© Leigh Hannan; Impression Obsession, Inc) is the name of this stamp. Could anything be a better souvenir from our trip to this corner of the country known for its unique coffee shops? Well maybe, the second stamp that came home with me could.  It's an image of a bouquet of lavender, and Sequim is the "Lavender Capital of North America", but that's for another post.  Happy World Card Making Day!

Card Details: Folded yellow card is 4 1/4 x 5 1/2. I stamped the coffee cup image (Impression Obsession) once on speckled card stock in black ink; trimmed the image to 2 1/4 x 3 1/4; mounted it on black card stock and trimmed to a 1/8 inch border. I stamped the cup a second time on white card stock.  I used pink, aqua blue, and mint green markers to color the design, and a sun yellow marker for the dots within the image. I fussy cut the interior design and adhered it to the image on the speckled paper. This gave the overall design more depth than just coloring the first stamped image, plus the colors are crisper. I used a metallic gold marker to color the details in the steam and handle.  I embossed a piece of pool blue paper with the dots embossing folder by Cuttlebug; trimmed the paper to 4 1/4 x 3 1/4; used a wave blade on my paper trimmer to trim one long side. I stamped the quote (Stampin' Up) in black ink on the speckled paper and I adhered it to the yellow card with mounting tape for added dimension.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Card That's Hard to Send

Sometimes it's hard to put a card in the mail, because I know it is one of a kind and I won't see it again. These tend to be the cards with lots of details. They sit on display on my desk for a couple of weeks, then I put them in a basket and wait for just the right person and just the right time to let go of each one.

Other times it's difficult because of the reason for which it was made. Sympathy cards pull at my heart in two ways. I want my friend to know that she is in my thoughts and prayers, but I put off the actual writing, because I can't summon the words to express myself. I am afraid I will say the wrong thing, or perhaps, I won't say enough.  

Many years ago I disappointed a dear friend by not reaching out to her after the death of her father.  She was right to be mad, and I love her for telling me how she felt and even more for the fact that she remained my friend.  Last week I mailed out this card to a friend, because, right words or not, silence is not an option.  

Card Details: Folded card is 5 1/2 X 5 1/2 white card stock.  I stamped the flower (Stampin' Up) with black ink; hand colored the image with Prismacolor colored pencils: lilac, violet, metallic silver, burnt ochre, and tuscan red; cut out flower; used mounting tape to secure and raise image. I used dark grey ink with the word stamp (Stampin' Up) and edged the paper with the same ink. I embossed plum colored paper with the Flourish embossing pad by Sizzix for Stampin' Up and rounded the top corners.  I used the Rose Bush 2-in-1 Edger Punch by EK Tools to punch out the border from lilac paper and silver metallic paper. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Little Card That Would

Trees are some of my favorite things in nature, and they are for my younger daughter, too.  I made this card for her to mark a special day. Now I am using it again to introduce my paper crafts to the blogging world.  I'm going out on a limb here...

Sometimes I think I am terribly original with my designs, but mostly I am inspired by samples I see in crafting publications. I see this spotlight technique used in a variety of ways on cards, and I really like its simplicity. When you highlight one detail of a design, it brings the eye right where you want it first, and then you look at the entire image. 

I hope to share my hobby a card or two at a time. I have been stamping and making cards for almost 16 years. I love these tactile, mini, artistic endeavors. When I am making cards or "playing with my stamps" I get lost in the details of paper texture, ink colors, and layout design. I tend to forget about everything else, except the person who will receive my card, and that's why I call them my hand made prayers.  

Card details:  Folded card is 5 1/2 X 4 1/4; white card stock.  I stamped the tree image (©Holly Berry House) first on green card stock with dark green ink, stamped it a second time with dark brown ink on light brown paper; cut out only the trunk; pasted it over the green image. I stamped the image one more time with dark green ink on white card stock; colored it with Prismacolor colored pencils; used a circle punch to cut out the bird and leaves; trimmed one segment to be flush with the green card stock.