Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Happiness Today Card Set

I was able to spend a little time this weekend and finish up another set of cards featuring my Art Impressions Windows to the World stamp, Swans window.  Just like the Garden Window stamp set shared last week, I had previously stamped these images last spring onto Bristol cardstock.  Then when I've had occasion to travel, I simply take a watercolor brush, a small tin cup and my Inktense Watercolor Pencils.  This allows me to color in the small spaces of time between a comittment and allows an activity to de-stress and unwind.

I used my HoneyBee Cherish stamp set to finish these cards just like the Garden Window set.  The sentiment was stamped in Black Archival Ink and the flowers in a yellow (contrast!) dye ink.  Using my SSS Stitched Squares dies, I die cut the stamped image and a navy cardstock background.  It's a nice finish.

These four will go into the stash and become one of a set.  It is so satisfying to use my small set of Intense Pencils.  I don't see a lot of traveling in my future, so I just might have to be intentional about some coloring time to finish the other "windows" in the set.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Our Beautiful World - Sunlight

I'm popping in this morning to join the fun over at Our Beautiful World where the word prompt for this week is Sunlight.   Of course, I just had to share these first photos which are of the beautiful surroundings on our trip to Oahu last year to celebrate my son's graduation.  This lagoon is west facing end of the island which made for some fabulous late afternoon shots as the sun began it's descent.

I also made reading on the deck chairs a bit of a challenge.  We made it work though, since the sunset was not to be missed.  Here, my three are laughing at some imaged joke - I say imagined because our family humor is often slightly corny and odd.

Who could participate in a Sunlight challenge without sharing a photo of plants basking in sunlight?    These tiny strawberries were the best that could be found at a resort here in Arizona.  Much different that then Midwest where I grew up - the blazing sunlight punishes growth and so these berries are barely worth the trouble.  Still, beautiful nonetheless, don't you think?

Why not come join the fun at Our Beautiful World and share a picture of what sunlight looks like from where you live?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Distress Highlight Stamping - A Set of Cards

I had mentioned that I signed up for the Creative Chemistry 103 class over at Online Card Classes.  Brandy and I had previously taken Creative Chemistry 101 and Creative Chemistry 102.  The posts for the homework start around here:

Creative Chemistry 101 and the days following during the month of March 2012 and early April 2012

Creative Chemistry 102 and the days following during the month of October 2013

It's hard to fathom that these classes were so very long ago.  They seem like crafting yesterday!  Times change and my dedication to the homework is not what it once was.  That is in part because so many of the techniques are variations on the same process, just working with different Distress products.  I find myself with such a variety of inks, stains and paints that I'm not super enthusiastic to join the spray stains, crayons, etc. that are new to the product line.  However, the class is great and highlights some techniques that I was really interested in and so I've finally done a little homework - now that the class is over.

In this first techique, I used a solid stamped image and some Picket Fence Distress Ink to stamp onto kraft paper.  A second stamp of the same image was made using colored Distress Inks applied strategically to the stamp.   I found that I needed a little practice to get it right and so I made this card set.

The technique is very similar to the one Jennifer McGuire used in this video - just with Distress Inks.  Both techniques work in very similar ways.  From my experience, you can make it work usig whichever type of ink you have available.

This purple one is probably my favorite.  The colors are more vibrant in person - photographing the kraft papers was a bit of a challenge.  The Hello sentiment was stamped with embossing ink and then embossed using white embossing powder.  It is a good focal point for the card.

I found that I needed the practice and so I ended up making this set of 4 cards.  They'll go in the stash and be used as a gift set or to send a good wish to someone.

I'll keep working through my homework and be sure to share the results with you here.  This is the best kind of homework!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Quiet Day Card Set

I'm stopping in today to share a card set featuring my Art Impressions Windows to the World stamp, Garden window.  I had previously stamped these images last spring onto Bristol cardstock.  When (rarely) I've had occasion to travel, I simply take a watercolor brush, a small tin cup and my Inktense Watercolor Pencils.  This allows me to color in the small spaces of time between a comittment and allows an activity to de-stress and unwind.

I just recently decided to use my HoneyBee Cherish stamp set to finish these cards with a flourish.  The sentiment was stamped in Black Archival Ink and the flowers in a pink dye ink.  Using my SSS Stitched Squares dies, I die cut the stamped image and a pink cardstock background.  It's a nice finish.

These five will go into the stash and become one of a set.  I've more of these Window to the World stamped images to finish up.  I'm hoping to get them assembled and pictures posted soon.

I'm so glad I picked up my small set of Intense Pencils.  I've just loved traveling with them and they are small enough that they don't take a lot of space. What do you take on trips to craft?  Anything? I will wish you well to finish one of the those projects that have been hanging around your craft table.

I'm going to enter this card into the following challenges:

City Crafter Challenge Blog Week #326 It's All About You (did you notice my "you" in the sentiment around the image?)

Word Art Wednesday's Challenge Weeks 244/245: Anything Goes

Monday, August 22, 2016

Entering the Political Fray - An Elementary Crafty Project

Did I get you right there?  The truth is that my nephew is running for Student Body Treasurer of his elementary school.  So I get a phone call, "Auntie, I'm running for treasurer and... and... and... I'm wondering if you could help me with my poster?"  How does one say no?!  So my respose was an enthusiastic "Of course!"

We decided to keep the poster simple - using the Cricut to die cut his poster tagline and leave room for a handwritten scattering of reasons to vote Jacob:

  1. He's for a sun shade at the pick-up line out in front of the school.
  2. He likes math!
  3. He knows his multiplication tables!
All very good reasons that he will put on later.  Candidates also get to make buttons or necklaces to hand out.  We decided to create these "buttons" which are simply white cardstock printed images.  I used his poster picturer to superimpose onto a fake "penny", altering the date to this year (election year!) and adding a tagline below the picture.

The 3 x 3 in. circle was cut on the Cricut using the centerpoint feature - an imperfect cut, but the 5th grader liked it since it meant that he didn't have to cut them out.  We sponged some copper Viva Decor Stamp Paint over the white cardstock to give a copper burnish to the buttons and voila!

What say you?  Will you join the chorus and cheer my happy little 5th grade nephew!  I had a super fun time with him thinking all this up and executing - which mostly involves keeping him focused, ha ha.  I'll hope the rest of the election season is as much fun!  Thanks for indulging my happy craft day.  We'll be back to regular programing later this week with a fun card set I'm wrapping up later today.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Blessings to You

I recently picked up the Art Impressions Blessings to You Tri-fold stamp and die set.  I so thought this tiny little bunny was adorable so I gave it a try stamping and die cutting using the instructions provided with the set.  The following (picture heavy!) post is my effort to share with varying success the results.  I hope you brought an afternoon cocktail (or a morning coffee) with you because there is lots to see.

After watercoloring the images with my Mission Gold watercolors, I used my Wink of Stella to add a bit of shimmer to each of the flowers.  I tried different color combinations and color intensities in an effort to learn a little more about watercoloring.  I'm no expert, but maybe an inspiration that even a non-expert can create a beautiful finish with a little effort.  If you haven't tried watercoloring, let me encourage you.  I didn't think I could do it either and look....

Each card was made using Strathmore Bristol paper.  This paper is good when you are only using small amounts of water for the watercoloring.  I have to stop and come back after the image was dry often, but the paper never pilled or lost it's integrity.

I used various patterned papers from the stash to create interest on the opposing panels as you open the card.  This was a fantastic way to finish the cards.  In the end, I made eight of these cards and haven't yet decided what I'll do with them.

Wow - you made it to the end.  I hope you are inspired by my lovlies.  I thoroughly enjoyed making them and actually want an excuse to use or gift them away so I can try a different technique out with this stamp and die set.  If you haven't used the Art Impressions stamps - they are a dream to stamp with.  The instructions are easy to follow and helpful in creating your project.  I'd recommend give it a try!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Flowery Watercolor Panels

I am sharing with you today a card set that was inspired by this YouTube video. I actually stamped these panels in June and took them with me on a stay-cation here in the valley.  I left my Mission Gold watercolors out on the table with a cup of water and my brush and would stop by to color for short periods between trips to the pool and naps and movie watching at night, etc.

I found varying levels of success in my watercolor technique and if you look close, there's a bit of poor/incomplete stamping.  However, I'm betting that the recipient doesn't notice when met by this happy set of flowers sent to wish them a happy birthday.

I think this purple one is the most stunning in person.  I did add a bit of Wink of Stella to the flowers, it is hard to see on these pictures.  The grey strips are white cardstock smeared with Hickory Smoke Distress Ink.  It is a perfect frame for my panels.

All in all, I'm pleased with this set.  I've a few more stamped, but found myself moving on when I returned home - so much so it took me several months to finish the cards and post this post.  Ah well, progress is progress, yes?!

What projects do you have that are half finished.  See - this is proof they are worth getting out and diving into them to create a final beauty worth sending off to a friend.  I wish you success!

I'm entering these cards in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge Summer Fun and
Word Art Wednesday's Challenge #244/245 Anything Goes

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Our Beautiful World - Bridge

The ladies at Our Beautiful World have selected the word prompt Bridge for this week's photo challenge.  I had the pleasure to travel to the midwest last month and snapped these photos from the car traveling along the highway.  A large thunderstorm had rolled through right before my plane landed (Whew!) and I was able to watch these clouds from a distance.

We traveled over a bridge spanning the St. Croix river.  It was beautiful!  The amount of greenery and vegetation was overwhelming after spending so much time in Arizona amongst the cactus.   Overwhelming in a good way!

Though we did experience a bit of overcast skies during my visit, I didn't mind a bit as I see the sun so many of my days at home.  The movement, the colors, the freshness of the air - all worth a little weather for my short visit to the midwest.

How about you?  Any stunning photos of bridges that you've taken lately?  Why not come over to Our Beautiful World and see what the participants are sharing.  While you are at it, leave a little comment love to encourage these amateur photographers and consider joining the challenge fun!