Thursday, April 19, 2018

Come to Me

I like using purple on a condolence card as I think it is both beautiful and peaceful . . .

The inspiration for this layout came from my own personal Pinterest-type file.  It's filled with pictures of hundreds of blogged cards that have caught my eye and it comes in very handy when The Muse has temporarily abandoned me.

But here's the funny thing:  my cards bear little resemblance to the inspiration cards!  I never know what elements on an inspiration card will turn the key and open up the creative possibilities.  So I never try to figure it out - I just collect pictures of whatever appeals to me and look for the fun of putting it all together at my worktable.  The Muse usually comes out of hiding at that point and the two of us have a really good time!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Blackberry, Beckett Moonlight   
Stamps:       Hero Vine Swatch, Petite Flower Swatch, Mod Swatch,
                        A Stamp in the Hand Words Background Script,
                        Rubbernecker “I will give you rest”
Inks:             Distress Dusty Concord, Antique Linen, Brushed Corduroy
Emb Powder:   Seth Apter Dirty Sand
Dies:            Lil Inkers Stitched Mat Rectangles, Memory Box Prim
                        Poppy, Arich Rounded Corners Stitched Rectangles,
                        Punch Bunch Tiny Flowers punch                   
Doo Dads:    Wink of Stella Clear           

Monday, April 16, 2018


Inspired by a wonderful blog post HERE by Vicky Pappaioannou recently, I tried my own version of her idea.  She was working on an 8" x 8" journal page, so I downsized in order to fit the proportions of a standard sized card base . . .

I am a big fan of smooshed backgrounds* and that's what I did here with Distress Oxide inks.  After that came some spattering in both black and white, a little randomly applied text, and some sporadic stenciled lettering with black paste.  I'm  happy with the results and plan to use this combination of techniques in a variety of colors many more times in the future!

*Press and twist the Distress ink pad onto your craft mat.  Use two or three colors, then mist.  Lay your cardstock onto the ink and press to transfer the color, then heat dry.  Repeat to add droplets and texture, heat drying between each layer.

Cardstock:   The Paper Cut Eames White,Strathmore #90 Watercolor 
Stamps:       My Favorite Things Diagonal Stripes, Amuse Script
Inks:             Distress Oxide Broken China, Cracked Pistachio,
                        Fossilized Amber, Spiced Marmalade, Vintage Photo,
                        Black Soot, Archival Coffee
Colorants:    Claudia Hellmuth Studio Black Gesso
Dies:            Lil Inkers Stitched Mats: Rectangles, Mama Elephant
                        Peek a Frame, Memory Box Butterflies: Darla, Vivienne,
                        Tim Holtz Alphanumeric “SOAR”
Stencil:        The Crafters Workshop Mini Ledger
Doo Dads:    Wink of Stella Clear           

Thursday, April 12, 2018


While the Serenity Prayer is a mainstay in all Twelve Step programs, it's an invaluable  resource for anyone in need of perspective while dealing with Life's troubles . . .

I picked the pre-printed background paper because it had the range of colors I wanted to use.  Then I had some fun with a mesh die, some Prills, and Seth Apter's new Baked Texture embossing powder.

I have mixed feelings about how this turned out, but I'm clear on one thing - I had a wonderful time putting it all together!

Cardstock:   Papers by Catherine Ivory, Marcos Jute, European Papers
                        Tiny French Letters Designer Paper            
Stamps:       Stampin’ Place Serenity Prayer
Inks:             VersaMark, Distress Brushed Corduroy, ColorBox Black
Emb Powder:   Seth Apter Vintage Beeswax, Rocky Road, WOW Clear
                             Matte Dull, Judikins Detail Black
Dies:            Mama Elephant Peek a Frame, Memory Box Distressed
                        Windham Collage           
Emb Folder: Stampin' Up Fancy Fan
Doo Dads:    USArt Quest Prills: Gilt Trip           

Monday, April 9, 2018


Here is an idea for a Guy Card!  A friend of ours was injured slightly in a car accident and I thought that a little peaceful contemplation of nature would bring him some serenity while he recovers . . .

The narrow dark frame was the result of a struggle with a stencil and embossing paste.  The idea was to create a dimensional frame around the center panel.  I found a stencil in my stash that would allow me to create the perfect straight line I was after.  Thank heavens I failed:  the uneven and rather untidy results suit this layout far better than a formal frame would have.  Occasionally, making a mess is a good  thing!

While the paste was still wet, I sprinkled on some Distress embossing powder which I love for its matte finish.  I waited until the paste dried in order to cure the powder with my heat gun.  I could have left it as is because the texture was great, but heating will  make it stronger and better able to withstand the less-than-loving ministrations of the cancelling machines at the post office.

Cardstock:   Bazzill Bon Bon, Dark Olive, Strathmore Kid’s Paint Pad
                        watercolor paper, Generic Chocolate     
Stamps:       Just For Fun Trees Background, Stamp Zia “Nature”
Inks:             Distress Vintage Photo, Gathered Twigs, Fired Brick,
                        Worn Lipstick, Peeled Paint
Emb Powder:   Distress Walnut Stain, Zippies Transcendence
Dies:            Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, Memory Box Stitched
                        Rectangle Trimmings, Impression Obsession Bare Branch,
                        Arich Rounded Corners Stitched Rectangles                 
Stencil:        The Crafters Workshop Stitch Doodle Dot (frame)         

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Be True

Foggy grays seem to be very popular colors right now, and I couldn't be happier.  Gray is such a peaceful color to work with, and it plays well with any color in the rainbow.  I think purple is one of the best . . .

You'll have to take my word for it, but there's a text background on this layout.  It is all but invisible, but I am not blaming my camera this time.  How I would love it if someone were to invent a white dye ink that could actually be seen after it dries , , ,

At least the white UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) shows up.  I used my favorite method of application:  a few pinches of the coarse powder were scattered over the cardstock and then heated from underneath because no ink was used to hold the powder in place.  Works every time and looks great, don't you think?

Cardstock:   Generic Textured Fog, Conqueror Lightspeck: Surf,
                        Nekoosa Eggplant, Generic Dull Silver           
Stamps:       Stampin' Up By Definition: Love
Inks:             Papertrey Ink Fresh Snow
Emb Powder:   Ranger UTEE Platinum, WOW Clear Sparkle,
                             Opaque Bright White Ultra High
Dies:            Memory Box Wrapped Stitch Rectangle             
Stencil:        Wendy Vecchi Artful Words
Doo Dads:    Wendy Vecchi embossing paste White, Wink of Stella Silver

Monday, April 2, 2018

Laugh, Learn, Live

The poppies, background and the bamboo shoots are three happy refugees from my Stash Box.  When I'm in need of inspiration, I dive into the box and nearly always come up with ideas for the next project . . .

But the real discovery was the gold textured strip under the poppies.  It's not metal - it's shelf liner!  I've lost  the label so I don't know if it's vinyl or silicone, but probably the former.  I cut a strip from the roll, inked it with VersaMark, dusted it with gold embossing powder, and heated it.  The strip remained soft and completely flexible - just as if nothing had been done to it.  To attach it to the card front, I used my favorite glue:  Elmer's School Glue.  It's every bit as flexible, matte, and strong as Multi Medium Matte, but at 1/7th the price.  And you can find it on the shelves of your local supermarket.

I love the results:  it has the look of hammered metal but is lightweight, easy to work with, and cheap!  I plan to collect a few rolls of shelf liner in different patterns (hopefully I'll find some lacy ones) and will play around with various metallic and non-metallic embossing powders.  Also some dies.  Stay tuned for whatever I can come up with.  Better yet, try it out yourself!

Cardstock:   Strathmore Kid’s Paint Pad Watercolor paper   
Stamps:       Starving Artistamps Positive Words
Inks:             Adirondack Color Wash Cranberry, Tattered Angels
                        Glimmer Mist Peach Delight, Tsukineko Walnut Ink
                        Walnut, Distress Brushed Corduroy, VersaMark
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black, Ranger Gold
Dies:            Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges, Memory Box
                        Bamboo Shoots                
Stencil:        Sweet Stamps Circle Pavers        
Doo Dads:    Mesh shelf liner, Wink of Stella Gold      

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Christ is Risen

It has been an interesting late Winter for us:  I slipped on unsalted ice and broke an ankle in three places.  My husband has had medical issues of his own, brought about by horrible side effects from the drug Lyrica.  He's in a nursing home getting physical therapy while the drug leaves his system.  Cards and holidays were therefore not uppermost in my mind.  But he's doing better and as such, I was ready to start creating again.  Two days before Palm Sunday, I realized I needed to get going on some sort of very simple layout . . .

I'm hoping it suggests the sun rising behind the stark reminder of the suffering that was freely borne by the true Light of the World.  He lives:  may all come to know Him in love and abundance.  A very blessed Easter to each of you!

Cardstock:   Neenah Conservation White, Generic Dark Green, Dull Gold
Stamps:       Our Daily Bread Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Starving
                         Artistamps Concentric Sun
Inks:             VersaFine Onyx Black, ColorBox Gold
Colorants:    D’uva Erasable Watercolor Cardinal Red, Lemon Yellow
Emb Powder:   Ranger Gold
Dies:            Cheery Lynn Cross Set, Memory Box Arboscello Tree,
                        Verve Hope Blooms