Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sympathy Card- The toughest of all

Sympathy cards are difficult for me.  I think this is partly because they usually come suddenly and need to be completed quickly.  I think another part of the difficulty is from the fact that I genuinely desire to express emotion with these cards.  Usually, I think I am targeting more the evoking of emotion- the pleasure of the receiver at being remembered, thought of, and/or generally celebrated.  However, with sympathy cards I am usually trying to tell the receiver something- comfort, reassurance, encouragement, love.  I am seeking to express something from me to give to another who is suffering loss.  I think this might be because I have experienced so little loss in my life (my maternal grandparents are still with us to my great joy!).  I wouldn't begin to suggest I would have a clue as to what emotion I might want to evoke out of my receiving friend.  A co-worker recently lost a good friend.  We had all met and known Laura and all I could think of was to make something for my co-worker to hold.  I wanted my co-worker to know that my thoughts and prayers were with her.  I think this simple design, scraplifted from a post I found using Google, hit the sentiment just right. 
You might remember my recent post where I made grunge paper calla lilies with instructions from the blog Ink Stains. This flower is simple to make and quickly came together to become the center point of this card.  The cream vintage seam binding crinkled using water and my hands softened the hard corners and monochromatic theme.  The patterned paper comes from the stash and is likely many years old.  I just love using up the paper in my stash, especially when the result is just what I was after.  My hope is this card would be a tangible reminder to my co-worker.  We are not alone, no matter how it feels or how superficial our relationships.  I continue to pray that God would comfort and send peace to my co-worker and her good friend's family.  Loss is truly very hard and when teen children are left behind, it seems somewhat cruel.  Yet, we must remember that we are children of a Living God and allow our losses here on Earth to point us to the One who saved us from death's grip.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Landscape Weavings

This is just a teaser taste of the wonderful landscape weavings created by my friend Keri's mom, Vi.  Vi passed away last year suddenly and left behind eight grandchildren, two daughters, their loving husbands and many, many friends and extended family who found this dear lady to be a bright, positive spot in the world.

Vi developed and exercised her love of yarn fibers into this beautiful work of art that she labeled "landscape weaving".  Keri is currently working to get some finished pieces of art up for sale at our Etsy shop and also an instruction book containing many how-tos for this wonderful craft.  For some of the landscape weavings, she even has kits with all the instructions and yarn needed to finish the project.  If you love crafting of all types just like me, check back as we’ll soon have some kits posted at the shop.

I've decided to link this project up to the The Minty Fresh Challenge over at the Moxie Fab World.   I suggest you join me in the fun!  If you don't make landscape weavings, make a card or other project using the color mint.  If you do make landscape weavings, please contact me so that I might marvel at your unique talent much as I do posthumously for Vi!  Then, if you have a minty project, link it up on the challenge.    

Thanks for looking at my *small* tribute to such a big life.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Glitter Art Institue

We are coming up on the two year anniversary of the start of this blog.  For the last three months of 2010, our total post count was four.  Count them. . . 1 . 2 . 3 . 4.  Even now, you can actively see the post count isn't as high as many other very productive creative blogs.  The volume of posts does not reflect our love of paper crafting or the volume of ideas that both Brandy and I have floating around in our heads.  Being full time, working women we simply find that time to craft is precious.  Brandy, in particular, has had a difficult time being able to get her project photographed and posted.  That's why you will often see me author a post of one of her creations.  I just think her creativity to beautiful not to share.

We recently had the great pleasure to carve out a precious weekend to focus on inspiring our creativity.  It has been a decade since Brandy first stepped into my office and asked that fateful question (you can read more here).   Early in our supply collection career, we had the great fortune to find Art Institute Glitter glitter.  This microfine glitter was sold in a myriad of colors and, most alluringly, the butterfly stamp pictured above was often used to sell the glitter.  We quickly picked up a variety of colors and their glue.  Over the past decade, neither of us has actually used up any of that glitter, but we've added over time.

When attending the CK Convention in April, the Heartfelt Creations class used the Art Glitter glue.  This reminded Brandy that she had seen that the Glitter Art Institute was actually located in Cottonwood, Arizona.  That was just 2 hours away!  We spent the next four months trying to schedule the trip and actually succeeded a few weeks ago. 

We started Friday night by staying in Sedona, Arizona.  The beautiful red rocks are so captivating.  We had decided to make our excursion an overnight trip, staying in a local hotel so that we could get off early.  Breakfast was spent at a local eatery where we acted like high school girls giggling about the fun adventure we had planned. 

We did some sightseeing, driving around the beautiful landscape, stopping frequently to snap pictures and take small hikes through the frequent national park land.  Finally, mid-morning we landed at the Art Institute.  My goodness, we were in glitter heaven.  You can see in the pictures, the color selection was unbelievable.  They have glitter in all the standard sizes- fine, ultrafine, microfine, etc.  The shop was small, but the inspiration was everywhere.  We shopped to our heart's content making the agonizing decision as to what to take home.

I used the following technique to make this butterfly:

  1. I ran a small piece of paper through my Xyron sticker maker.
  2. After peeling back the protective sheet, I spread the transparent crystal microfine glitter over the entire surface.  
  3. I stamped the glitter surface with my black Archival Ink.
  4. Finally, I colored in the open spaces on the stamped image using my Distress Markers and fussy cut the image out.  
I just love the result. This technique is relatively quick and simple to use.  The glitter is transformed by the ink and takes on his own look and a sense of feel that I hope these pictures have captured.

Needless to say, the trip away from our stress filled lives was special.  We actually took pictures of each other and didn't have a set schedule, just a general idea of what we wished to accomplish on our trip.  It was a small oasis of relaxing fun.  We raced a rainstorm home which is a very wonderful thing if you live in central Arizona.  I hope to exercise my glittery craft self in the coming weeks and share some of the results here.

On a final, random note you'll never believe who we met in Sedona.

That's right, R2D2 was visiting Bell Rock when we happened to stop by.  You can see that rainstorm starting right behind him.  It just seemed such a weirdly random thing to happen I couldn't help myself and had to share.  Surreal, eh?


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Project Project Runway

I've mentioned it before.  My family is weird.  I've been weird all my life, so it doesn't bother me too much.  My kids have never not been a part of a weird family, so they take it in stride well.  My husband is just about as loving as sweet can be and it is my considered opinion that he tolerates me well.  As such, our family has never had the cable TV piped into our house.  This seems a little odd if you know me because I have some wonderful TV shows that I enjoy- The Amazing Race, WipeOut, Star Trek, Dr. Who.  Dr. Who was discovered during a short stint of actually signing up for Netflix.  Netflix and I had a recent argument, so we are now Netflixless. 

That was a long trip to say that I have never in my life seen two Project Runway episodes aired at their normal time in succession.  Sometimes, rarely, I can catch a rerun on a vacation where cable is piped into our rooms.  I vaguely know, because of the general societal awareness, about the shows premise and the drama.  It is probably a show I would show up for if I had cable.  But I don't.  Still, I can get my dose of drama (pseudo-drama really!) and fashion online.  Last year I mentioned the Project Project Runway contest over at Just Crafty Enough.  I found out about it by trolling one of my most favorite blogs, Not Martha.  Anyone can join in the fun, though I chose to watch and admire from afar.  The contest is based on the challenges performed by the Project Runway folks.  The twist is that all designing is done for Barbie size dolls.  There are some really talented and skilled folks who participate (or did last year anyway).  It is fun to check in each week and see what they've dreamed up.  I encourage you to stop by and join us.  They are already on week 4 (did I mention I have no sense of the cable TV schedule?) and there is already a lot of fun to participate in. 


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Basic Grey's Sweet Threads Cards

I had cause during June to need to make an anniversary card and a birthday card.  I just love my Basic Grey Sweet Threads collection.  I haven't (obviously) used it enough because I still have whole 12 x 12 sheets of this beautiful patterned paper.  I actually scraplifted a good portion of the design and like a git I didn't mark down the reference so I can't share with you the wonderful original inspiration.  Either way, I am soooo pleased with how these cards turned out.  All cuts except the swirl and flowers are cut from Cricut's Accent Essentials.  The swirly flower stamp set is a Inkadinkado set stamped using my coffee Archival Ink.  The anniversary sentiment comes from a wood stamp I've had for ages and the flower on this card comes from those made for my May Day baskets

I realized that the Birthday card was photographed before I stamped the sentiment from my Glitzy stamp set (a French phrase I'm not sure exactly what it means).  The flower in this card was embossed and die cut from Heartfelt Creations Posy stamp and dies.  In this second photo, you should be able to see the pearls added using my Viva Decor Pearl Pen.  You might be able to detect them at the end of the flower swirls.  Very nice finish to a card I am very pleased with the result.  I'd make this one again and again using different paper combinations from the Sweet Threads collection.  Great paper makes designing easy!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tissue Tape Flowers

I picked up some Tim Holtz Tissue Tape during a couple of clearance sales recently. I've used tissue tape on only a few projects, so I went looking online for ideas. I first happened upon Tim's youtube video on making tissue tape flowers. I cut some circles out using the Cricut and followed Tim's instructions to create the flowers found on this card.

Tissue tape was adhered around the edge of the white cardstock card.  I simply tore off the tape along the edge.  The patterned paper was layered over this edging.  The frame was cut from Cricut's Plantin Schoolbook, distress with an Ink Blending Tool and some Distress Ink.  The stamping is done with Coffee Archival Ink.

I've decided to link this card up to the The Minty Fresh Challenge over at the Moxie Fab World.   I suggest you join me in the fun!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Trust the Goodness Cards


I made two cards based on a card sketch I used in last year's Summer Card Class. The posy flowers were made using Brandy's Heartfelt Creations stamp and die cut sets. The stamp was embossed on white cardstock with white embossing powder and then cut using the dies. I Glimmer Misted the flowers, changing them to be pink. Each of the K & Co. patterned papers were cut to size, inked and glued to the white cardstock card. The sentiment is part of a phrase stamp from a Close to My Heart set and was stamped in Vintage Photo Distress Ink. 

I've decided to link this first card up to the The Minty Fresh Challenge over at the Moxie Fab World.   I suggest you join me in the fun!