Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Rabbit Cards

This is a rabbit, not a bunny. Bunnies are cute and fuzzy. This rabbit looks like the family pet of Hattori Hanzo the 16th century samurai (and who knows, maybe a distant relative?) He's one cool rabbit. 

No doubt I bought the stamp because the image on the wood block was already painted, and I really liked it as its own little work of art. The problem with buying a stamp complete with "suggested coloring" is I let that intimidate my creative process. It's only been in the last two years that I have taken to coloring, which, I am happy to say, has brought new life to many of my older stamps. 
Image by Hero Arts from 2000 colored with Prismacolor pencils on craft cardstock;
layered over mulberry and washi paper; highlighted with gold gel ink.
Rabbit by Hero Arts from many years ago; "hello" die by Simon Says Stamp.
Hattori Hanzo had such nicknames as "Hanzo the devil" or "Hanzo the ghost". I am adding "Hanzo the rabbit"!

Monday, July 11, 2016

BLM Card

Sadly I am beginning to understand what artist have always known, that their work can be a replacement for words. The conversation that was our sermon in church yesterday challenges me to acknowledge what has happened this week, even when (or maybe especially when) I am so far removed the events. Please listen to Skin In the Game for a frank discussion about race and faith. 

It seemed like a simple and heartfelt gesture when I made my Pray for Paris card. A card for Orlando was unexpectedly another handmade prayer. How could I not make a card for Dallas, Louisiana, and Minnesota?

Card Details: Initials by Inkadinkado; sentiment by Rubbernecker Stamps. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Penguin Cards

Do penguins and summertime really go together? Yes! Absolutely! For two reasons. First, a stamp designer put penguins in a snorkel mask and an inner tube. What else are you going to do? One day I may figure out a snow scene for them, but in the meantime, it's summer themes all the way! 
Sentiment and waves by Simon Says Stamp; embossing folder by Darice;
penguin by River City Rubber Works. 
Penguin by River City Rubber Works; sentiment by Rosie's Roadshow. 
Inner tubes and sentiment by Stampin' Up; penguin by River City Rubber Works.

The second reason is because it's HOT outside, and it is refreshing to think of the cold climate they live in – the ice, the wind, the snow. Ahhh! I can almost forget about the humidity. Nah, that never happens.

Stamp Credits: I recently discovered that River City Rubber Works is no longer in business. I was sad to learn that, because their stamps are fun and unique. Good luck to the owners on their next venture.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Rainbow Card

It is sad to know I have a small collection of cards that have been created in the wake of tragedies. I will not send this card to anyone, just as I have not mailed the others, rather they remain my handmade prayers. This card is for grieving people of Orlando, Florida. 

"...My soul is down cast within me. 
Yet this I call to mind and therefore have hope: 
Because of the Lord's great faithfulness we are not consumed, 
for his compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning; 
great is your faithfulness." 
Lamentations 3:22-23

Jesus said, 
"A new command I give you: 
love one another. 
As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, 
if you love one another." 
John 13:34-35

Monday, June 6, 2016

Chocolate Prayer Card

Chocolate, prayers, and love. What more can you send a friend whose heart is heavy? Though I did not leave any chocolate in the mailbox when I delivered this, the thought counts completely here – warm fuzzies for a weary friend. 

The sentiment is a mash up of words from a Hampton Arts stamp and a Hero Arts set.  
I wish I could give proper credit to the designer of this cute card, but I took a screen shot of it from someone else's repost on social media, and that was a year and a half ago. I do love how an idea can ramble around in my brain for a long time before the perfect opportunity comes along to act on it. Though sometimes that chance comes only after I own the right stamps. :-)

This is the original card. The sentiment says, "Everything goes better with chocolate!". This is the only chocolate that can sit in a mailbox on a summer day and not melt. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

19th Anniversary Card

Today is our 19th wedding anniversary. I did a little number crunching in preparation for this blog post. During these years there has been 1 husband, 2 dogs, and 3 houses. Our extended family lives in 4 states, and in the 5th year we moved to Georgia. There were 6 trips to Disney World (two were school band trips and one of those my husband chaperoned!). In the 7th year Hannah started kindergarten. Robert and I have taken 8 trips without children. (Thank you Grandparents!) The 9th year was our first trip (of ten, so far) to Palm Island Florida.

It wasn't long after our 10th anniversary following a trip to Palm Island that Robert had back surgery. In the 11th year my Mom moved from Virginia to Georgia, and the girls saw more of their Grammie. We've owned 12 vehicles, which is really hard to believe, since our mini van is almost eleven years old! Year 13 was identified by my cancer diagnosis, and during year 14 we visited Arlington National Cemetery to bury my Mom next to my Dad. 

This year our daughter Amy is 15 years old; we've tallied up 16 trips to St. Louis, MO and Apex, NC; our daughter Hannah is 17 years old; and last year, number 18, we traveled to Japan. I am excited to see what the next 19 years have in store for us. Happy Anniversary to my sweet husband!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Summertime Card

Is there a quintessential Summertime song? One immediately came to mind when I decided to include song lyrics in today's blog, but then I found this article in Rolling Stone magazine and decided there are two. 

"In the Summertime" by Mungo Jerry, 1970. 

When the weather's fine
We go fishin' or go swimmin' in the sea
We're always happy
Life's for livin' yeah, that's our philosophy
Sing a long with us 
Dee dee dee-dee dee
Dah dah dah-dah dah
Yeah we're hap-happy

"School's Out" by Alice Cooper, 1972

No more pencils no more books
No more teacher's dirty looks
Out for Summer
Out till fall
We might not come back at all
School's out forever
School's out for summer

Tomorrow is the last day of school here, and I'm sure it's not far behind for everyone else. So, think about this and get back to me. Let me know what I should be singing in the 21st century. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Card for Day #22

This is sort of an "Oh my gosh! It's Tuesday. What am I going to post?" post, but it really isn't, because after I finished this card last night, I knew it would be on my blog today. The only issue is what do I write about it? I did give it to my neighbor today for her birthday. I imagine she was surprised, but we only see each other at the summer holiday pool parties, so I will have to wait until Memorial Day to find out. :-) 

Or I could mention it is letter number 131 for my #365project on Instagram @lettersarebetter. And (since I seem to have this thing for short term goals) I am doing a sub set – #the100dayproject with @elleluna, where I was challenged to create a unique hashtag and create for 100 days. I chose #100rubberstamps and this is day 22. 

What you see here is "birthday card 2.0". My first rendition was ho-hum, and though I thought they can't all be my favorites, I couldn't leave it alone either. So... the circle of flowers covers up the part I wasn't wild about, and I added Birthday Wishes. Now all I really want to say about this card is "It's so stinkin' sweet! I think I'll make some more." 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Orange Cards

My hobby is so much fun, because I can make a card with orange slices to thank someone for inviting me to volunteer at the Orange Conference. For three days I stocked book shelves and worked a cash register. I watched as thousands of people interacted with vendors, and I listened as they told me about the speakers they heard. It was an excellent change of scenery for me, and the woman who invited me deserves a big "thank you". 

The Orange Conference, put on by The reThink Group, is an annual event for pastors and leaders in youth and student ministry of all denominations. This is the first year I've volunteered, and I was simply amazed that the 8,000 person capacity arena was sold out!  

I'm not certain of the origin of the name, but it is along the lines of: if church = yellow and home = red, then life + faith = orange. This card if for a young lady I have volunteered with for the past year and she is going back to school. Both women are beautiful examples of orange.

Stamp Credits: Orange slices, flowers, and sentiment by Stampin' Up. Flower pot by Stamp It!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Teacup Card

We drank espresso. We ate cronuts (awesome cream filled combo of a donut and a croissant). We shopped, tried on really fun shoes (bought the practical ones), drove with the top down, ate dinner out, and talked a lot. We sat on her wrap around porch that welcomes anyone who passes by and talked a lot more.

She recently learned to paint and wields a brush on canvas with precious realism. She would rather drink her tea from a warmed ceramic mug, but this stamp brings to mind her attention to style. She shared her gift of hospitality, and I basked in the comfort of friendship.

Card details: Teacups by Stampington & Company, heat embossed with black ink on watercolor paper; colored with watercolor paints. Sentiment by Hero Arts.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cracked Pot Card

Japanese pottery and scripture have a connection. Kintsugi is a Japanese art form that restores a broken item incorporating the damage into the aesthetic of the restored item, making it part of the object's history. Kintsugi or kintsukuroi uses lacquer resin mixed with powered gold, silver, platinum, copper or bronze, resulting in something more beautiful than the original. (Click on the link above to see examples.)

A more contemporary version of the verse on this card goes like this: "We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves." 2 Corinthians 4:7 My cracks are part of my history, and I trust the Master Potter to fix the new cracks, too, so His light continues to shine through me.

Flowers and pot by Stamp It! I used sticky powder to heat emboss the pot with gold and metal leaf on watercolor paper, then I painted the image and background. I used Prismacolor pencils to color the flowers and added gold Wink of
Stella to the flower centers. 
I want to be a cracked pot – not to be confused with being a crack pot. The first one is way better than the second. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Cards for Scraps

I was looking for a simple card design that would translate well into masculine birthday cards. I found this card sketch on Pinterest. The original crafter used ribbon pieces around her circle, and I decided to hunt through my box of scraps for dark or neutral colors. It's typical that the first card I made is not in the least bit masculine! I gravitated towards this one last piece of bright paisley and didn't stop until I said, "Oh darn! That's not for a man."
Sentiment by Paper Smooches is heat embossed with black ink and clear powder on glossy white card stock.

So I looked through that fun heap of scraps and pulled out the one last square of fleur-de-lis big enough to cut out five banners. Nothing says "guy" like navy blue, right? Now, this is one of a kind, because I don't have any of that paper left. 

I made a few more cards using up scraps for both the background and the banners. Now I have a handful of general birthday cards, and I used some yummy bits of paper to do it. That makes me a happy stamper. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

One Stamp Three Cards

My story for today's cards is I don't have a story! I've decided if I don't have a good story to tell, then I will make three cards featuring one stamp, because that is always a worthwhile endeavor. This week I pulled out a stamp I had not used before. That happens sometimes – in a set of stamps there is one that gets overlooked. Three ideas immediately came to mind, but the finished results are always a surprise. 

I have seen this technique of white pencil coloring on craft cardstock done by a few crafters on Instagram, and I really, really like it. I used Prismacolor pencils to color the images, added a thin line of washi tape at the bottom, then mounted the Simon Says Stamp die cut "thanks" using craft foam. The stamp image is by Stampin' Up. 
I began with a wash of rainbow colors on watercolor paper then heat embossed the flowers with versamark ink and gold embossing powder. I heat embossed the sentiment (by Stampin' Up) with black ink and clear powder. Ribbon was added for texture and to hide a flower that didn't turn out right. My card crafting motto: There is no such thing as a mistake, just an opportunity for embellishment. 
I used a blender pen and water based markers to color the image before I cut it out. The card sketch came from Lori Tecler on Instagram. I happily give credit if I am borrowing from someone else's creativity. The sentiment is from Simon Says Stamp! 
I can safely say I will not be overlooking this stamp again!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Dreamy Cards

"Dreamy" is what Penny Black calls this slapstick/cling stamp. I know I didn't look at the name when I purchased it. The simplicity of the flower caught my eye, and the image on the packaging – alone in shades of blue, green, and purple made me buy it. (Kudos to the marketing team.) The first time I made a card with this stamp I used those same colors.  

It's such a cool flower. I could whip up simple cards all day long by changing the color of the petals, but I like the challenge of mixing up how I use an image. For this set of cards I did not change the color scheme for two reasons. First, it saves time simply because the decision is already made, and second, the same colors require me to be more creative, because how I use the stamp is what makes the difference, not so much the color, paper, or embellishments.  
Dreamy (flower) by Penny Black; Joy stamp by Inkadinkado; Peach Ombré ink by Hero Arts;
Babmboo Leaves Ink by Memento; nesting frames dies by Lifestyle Crafts
Border made with Dreamy (flower) by Penny Black using peach ombré ink by Hero Arts;
sentiment by Stampendous using basic grey ink by Stampin' Up.
Fussy cut Dreamy (flower) by Penny Black with peach ombré ink and mount with leaves, Happy Birthday stamps by Simon Says Stamp! using the three ombré ink colors by Hero Arts and bamboo leaves ink by Memento. 

I usually don't think of flowers as dreamy, but this stamp makes me daydream about creating cards. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Card Joy

"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which gives value to survival." C.S. Lewis The Four Loves

"These relationships are gifts worth seeking. Developing flourishing friendships takes time and intentionality, but these become the people who ground us and keep us going. They become peepholes through which we glimpse the kingdom of God, inspiration to become the best possible versions of ourselves even in the most difficult circumstances." Margaret Feinberg Fight Back with Joy.

"Of all the means to insure happiness through out the whole life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends." Epicurus (341-270 BC) A Guide to Happiness 

 "It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words, but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" A.A. Milne Winnie-the-Pooh

Stamp Credits: girl by American Art Stamp ©Karen Stolper; grass by Rubber Stampede and Stampin' Up; sentiment by Creative Vision Stamps; die cut butterflies by Stampin' Up.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Prom Card?

"Mom, can you make a card...?" Of course the answer is yes even before I know the occasion. To add to my glee, she says, "You can use the dresses you colored for the 30 Day Coloring Challenge." What? She remembered? Good thing I did a few of those. 

"It's a thank you card for the parents who organized the party bus for prom. It needs to be big enough for all of us to sign it. Nothing fancy.", she says. I stare at her, incredulous, that she would even add that last remark. But, oh my gosh, I love my hobby! Try finding a prom thank you card at a Hallmark store!

Party dress by Inkadinkado; line of dresses by Stampin' Up;
thanks die cut by Simon Says Stamp
My daughter is in the red dress. These girls went to the 8th grade dance together, too. 

This is most of the group and the reason
they rented a party bus to take them to dinner and the dance. 

That she asked me to make the card and knew I had parts for it already completed makes up for the fact that she never reads my blog. :-)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Way to Go, Go, Go, Card

Whew! I'm glad it's March. Along with coloring daily in February, I was working toward the Jazzercise 30 Classes in 35 Days Challenge. It ended on March 6 and I made the goal with a day to spare. Yay! I earned the cute tank top!

I was back in class today and had the chance to work out with the newest instructor at Roswell Jazzercise. While we were pliéing and lunging at the top of the aerobic curve, I was creating a card in my head (it takes my mind off the heavy breathing), because new instructors deserve a big fat "You Go, Girl!" for making it through training. 
I used a brayer and the Berry Blaze Kaleidacolor rainbow ink pad for the background color,
then used white embossing powder over white pigment ink for the sentiments. 
Whether it is a long walk solo or dancing with a group of women, nothing makes more room for creative ideas in my head, than my body leaving the craft room. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Coloring Cards

Coloring is not easy for me, nor is it the stress relieving antidote all those coloring book publishers would have me believe. If it's not a tree or a flower, I have to think a lot about what colors I want to put where. And the shadows! The shadows are tricky little details that I really want in the correct spot. So... for the past 30 days I have been coloring and participating in the 30 Day Coloring Challenge put on by Kathy Racoosin at The Daily Marker

Every day in February I would check out the #thedailymarker30day on Instagram and see what I could learn from all the talented colorists and card makers out there. I have watched YouTube tutorials and read blog posts. I practiced shading; I blended chalks; I mixed up dye inks and watercolor paints; and I layered on color with colored pencils. (I have no skill with markers!)

Poppies by Unity Stamp Co. and sentiment by Hero Arts
Stars by Stampin' Up and sentiment by Stampabilities. 
Butterfly and sentiment by Rubbernecker Stamps and poppy by Unity Stamp Co. 
Dresses and buttons by Stampin' Up.
The challenge was only to color every day, but during the last week I made sure to complete a card each day. I am very proud of what I've done and learned. It wasn't easy, but the time spent coloring was worth it. Now, I can relax...until the next challenge.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Cat Cards

“The smallest feline is a masterpiece.” Leonardo da Vinci  
“What greater gift than the love of a cat.” Charles Dickens
“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life — music and cats.” 
Albert Schweitzer
“No matter how much the cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens. ” 
Abraham Lincoln

The stamp and paper are from Washi Accents in Atlanta.

I could not resist the background paper to finish this simple card.
The cat is from Magenta Style stamps.  

I do not own a cat, but I enjoy making cards for the several cat lovers I know. Because I do not have my own words to describe life with cats, I chose to share words from great minds. For this blog, I guess you could say "the cat's got my tongue". 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Process of a Card

Inspiration or intention. It's what drives the creative process. Sometimes I need to make a birthday card, and sometimes I want to try a new technique. Today's post is all about inspiration. On Sunday one of my cards was featured on Kathy Racoosin's blog The Daily Marker. Thank you, Kathy! She highlighted so many beautiful cards from her fourth 30 Day Coloring Challenge, that I am inspired to keep coloring every day, try a few more new techniques, and when I can, put some extra time into making special cards.  

I colored these leaves with the intention of them being the background for the flowers –
like greenery in a floral arrangement. I added other leaves, too, but ended up not liking the background, so I cut out the blue and green ones. 

I heat embossed the flowers with clear powder on watercolor paper,
and I used a water brush with my watercolor pencils to color them.
I added the blue background to make the outline easier to see when I cut them out.
Plus I was just having fun with the water brush! 

Because I saw several pretty cards with details and layers on The Daily Marker blog,
I was inspired to spend some time getting this one to look just right.

Stamp Credits: leaves by Impression Obsession; flowers by Stamp It!; flower pot by Stampin' Up. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Gyotaku Card Almost

Gyotaku is the Japanese name for "fish rubbing" or the art of fish printing. The surface of the fish is covered with ink or paint. A piece of paper is then placed over this inked surface and gently rubbed, thus transferring the ink from the raised surfaces of the scales and fins. The earliest known example dates from 1862 when a Japanese lord had prints made to preserve the image of several prize catches. This stamp image by Fred B. Mullett is what a Gyotaku print would look like.

When I met my husband he had a full size Gyotaku of a red drum fish framed and hanging in his living room. It's hanging in our living room now. Why am I telling you this? Today is his birthday and this card touches on just about all his "favorites": It's (sort of) a Gyotaku; it's a rockfish (which he used to fish for in Virginia every December); it's on paper I bought at the Japanese festival in St. Louis (his home town); and I made it. 

Happy Birthday, dear Robert, happy birthday to you!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Local King Turtle Card

 Three more days. That's all. This weekend I will be at the Heirlooms Production craft show in Lawrenceville, Georgia working with Local King Rubber Stamps. For two days I will be telling and showing people how much fun it is to create cards with their unique stamp sets, dies, and backgrounds. The images are crisp with a single color ink, but they transform when colors are blended. No two stamped images look the same. Love it! 

Watch Local King Rubber Stamp's Youtube video on coloring with markers
The matte coated paper from Marco's Paper takes color well
and gives the images a nice finish. 
The matching die set is in my future.  I just know it. 


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Getting a Card Ready

Anticipation can be as much fun as the event itself, or at the very least, it prolongs the fun. There are two things I'm really looking forward to next week. Kathy Racoosin at The Daily Marker is hosting her fourth 30 Day Coloring Challenge beginning on February 1. I have participated in this challenge twice, and I learn so much from her blog posts as well as from all the artists who share their work on Instagram with #thedailymarker30day. Find out more information about it here

On the weekend of February 6-7 I will be at the Heirloom Productions stamp and craft show working with Local King Rubber StampsI discovered their unique and versatile stamps last year. When I saw their Facebook call for helpers at the show near me, I sent them an email right away. Now I have an excellent reason to spend two days at the stamp show learning new techniques and gathering new ideas.

Cherry Blossoms by Local King Rubber Stamps; hello die by Simon Says Stamps;
colored with Prismacolor pencils and Wink of Stella

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Über Simple Card

Sometimes I just want to make something so very simple. Sometimes I wish I were a clever graphic designer. Sometimes I think my cards are on the verge of trending with hip stationery. Today is one of those days.

I've been stamping and coloring a lot recently and laboring over card designs (all with very satisfying results), but today I finally opened the Hot Cocoa Cups die set from My Favorite Things stamps, and I played all afternoon with paper and foam. I made a handful of cards using layers and sentiments and all the design elements my cards usually have. As I was cleaning up, I discovered one more mug and one more puffy bit of whip cream. The stamps were cleaned and the inks put away, but I didn't want to lose the extra pieces in a pile of scraps, so I pulled out possibly my favorite background color of cardstock and set that mug big and bold on the front of the card. There. Done. 

Sometimes I decide to leave well enough alone and choose to write 
all the sweet stuff on the inside.