Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cards Blossom

Today is the twenty-eighth day of The 30 Day Color Challenge by The Daily Marker thedailymarker.com and I have participated every day on Instagram. I've used watercolor paints, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, chalks, pastels and markers. I am better at some techniques than I am at others; somedays I completed detailed cards, and other days I colored something quite small but felt the same sense of accomplishment.  

I want to thank Kathy Racoosin of The Daily Marker, the creative force behind this challenge, because not only did she daily offer me an art piece to learn from, she made the time to recognize everyone's posts. Even though my girls teased me by saying, "Mom, she did that for everyone.", I know Kathy's remarks made my day a little cheerier. (She even wrote two different comments for the same little hedgehog, when I accidentally posted it twice. That's nice!) During this challenge I have discovered quite the assortment of crafters and bloggers to follow. I have been encouraged by their compliments and inspired by their talent. It's been a lot of fun! 

With only three days left I am trying to go out with a bang, or at least a bloom. 

Card Details: A2 size card;  Flower stamp and sentiment are by Stamping' Up.  I first colored the flower with markers and then added colored pencils for details and depth. Leaves and yellow border punches are from Martha Stewart.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cards for Kiev

Stamping 101 could have been the title for today's blog, because I spent the morning with my friend Carolynn James preparing small samples for beginner stampers. Carolynn and her husband Jesse run an organization called Global Leadership. http://globalleadership.us  They work with American business men and women who volunteer their time to conduct business/leadership seminars in Ukraine. Their goal is to provide quality instruction and practical guidance in business development and community leadership. Carolynn and Jesse have been going to Ukraine since 1997. My husband and I went with them in 2011 and 2012, and my husband went twice last year.  There is a great joy in maintaining international friendships and an undeniable hope in the people we have met in Kiev and Odessa.  

Global Leadership will be returning to Ukraine in April, and though I cannot go on this trip, my heart will go with them - in a box of crafting supplies. Carolynn and I are putting together a box of simple card making essentials to be shared in informal settings with the women after the seminars or hopefully at the coffee house opened recently by friends of theirs. As we all know, there is something wonderful about giving your hands something creative to do, that makes it easier to share the words in your heart.  

I LOVE how much fun I had making the most basic of samples using one stamp, and I noticed, to my delight, the bottom card is in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. I hadn't planned that - though I should have. I will update you later on the card making in Ukraine. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Pot of Gold (and green) Card

Happy St. Patrick's Day. I saw someone use four hearts together to create a shamrock, and I thought I would give it a try. Keeping with the 30 Day Color Challenge from The Daily Marker (thedailymarker.com) I decided to color my hearts instead of using various green paper. I expected to whip out this card in no time, because I knew exactly what I was going to do.  

I embossed, colored, and cut out the hearts. I discovered then these long hearts don't really make good shamrocks, because they don't meet in the middle the right way. Hmmm... what to do? Fill the pot! I decided I did need a background, and embellishments are always a nice touch. One and a half CDs later I have my completed card.   

They may not be shamrocks, but they sure do look cute – kind of like heart cacti.  

Card Details:  Finished folded card 5"x 5"craft cardstock; heat embossed all hearts (Stampin' Up) with gold detail powder and colored with water base markers (SU); stamped pot (Stamp It!) with brown ink; wood grain embossing folder (Lifestyle Crafts); pearl embellishments. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Color Challenge Card

I have been participating in the 30 Day Color Challenge set out by The Daily Marker. http://www.thedailymarker.com  It's only day seven, but I have had a lot of fun and have felt very challenged. You see, I took up stamping as a hobby because someone else did the art work. I viewed my card making as a mini layout; I focused on matching inks and papers and the placement of the elements. Any coloring was simple, like spring flowers and... well, just spring flowers.  

Over the years I have broadened my scope and have tried to copy techniques I see in magazines or on-line, but coloring is still out of my comfort zone. When I think of coloring I think: shading, hues, pallets, painting, ART!  I've had no training in art. This challenge has helped me loosen up, and lately I've been thinking coloring is FUN! 

The quote reads, "There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy."
I am thankful for the challenge. There is a quiet joy in coloring, too.  

Card Details: Finished card 5" x 6 1/2" folded red cardstock; feathers and adobe (Stamp A Mania) are heat embossed with cinnamon spice embossing powder (Stampendous!) on watercolor paper and colored with a brush using ink from water base markers.  Sentiment (Stampin' Up) stamped in brown ink. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Three Solid Cards

Hmmm... where to begin? I had it in my mind that I was going to create three cards with this big stamp and describe how each one is suited to the person receiving it. But then I started to work on the third card. It seemed to have a mind of its own, and my idea was no longer apropos. Seriously, if you were the recipient and read that your card took longer than the other two combined, because it just wasn't coming together, how would that make you feel? Of course, I would not tell you, but because it happened that way, this blog is now simply about the cards. Or maybe it's about my stubborn fixation on a design.

I knew what I wanted to do with all three cards. A big solid stamp is fun to color with markers. Three shades of blue scribbled on the rubber gives the appearance of texture when stamped, and the imperfections in the image are deliberate. It's quick and fun.

A big solid stamp is also perfect for using gold leaf flakes with sticky embossing powder.  Again, texture is king, and I don't use the gold leaf often enough.  It's simple and elegant.  

Let me say unequivocally, I really like how my third card turned out. It had a couple of starts and a few re-mounts, but I was determined to use this big solid stamp as a background. The sentiment on the card is one of my favorites, and because it is large, as word stamps go, it needs a big background. All the elements keep one from taking over.  It's balanced.  

What's that saying?  Third time's the charm. 

Card Details: Finished card size is 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" for first two cards. Third card is 5" x 6 1/2". 
Big solid flower, heart swirl background, and small sentiments by Stampin' Up; Love & Romance by River City Rubber Works.