Jan 19, 2020

Creating Birthday Balloons



Love cards with balloons, but unless someone designs a stamp that places all the balloons and all the strings in just the right place, I fumble and bumble and make a hot mess.

So, this time decided to experiment with a loved, but neglected, set by Essentials by Ellen called Wonky Backdrops. Used the "circles" to make balloons and added strings from Everyday Doodles. Sentiment is from Mama Elephant's Blogging Buddies.

I'm determined to use what I have (although that hasn't stopped me from adding to the pile!). Someone please stop me...

MOOD WHEN DONE: Good!

Thank you so very much for your very kind comments on my last post. I'll be sharing more!

Jan 15, 2020

All The Things

Let's start this party with a card.


This Always Here stamp set from Power Poppy is just a pretty, warm image. Plus, it comes with the sentiment built in, which I always appreciate. Used Copics and added a few details with Prismacolor Pencils. Hard to see in the photo, but I also added some clear jewels.

After I stamped the image with a Copic friendly ink (Memento), I kept it in the MISTI and, when I was done coloring, I restamped it with Versafine Onyx. While the Versafine is not Copic friendly, it works just fine if stamped after coloring. The image sort of came to life after I restamped it as the Versafine gives a much crisper image.

I find coloring small images much harder than large ones, but it was fun to make and this will make a perfect card to send to someone in need of a lift.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy to make a card!

________

A week before Christmas my cardiologist called to give me the results of a test. I need a heart transplant. Not immediately. Not tomorrow, but it's time to have a formal evaluation to get placed on The Waiting List. He referred me to an Advanced Heart Failure/Transplant cardiologist, Dr. X (not her real initial!).

Met with Dr. X. Really like her a lot. Managed to be both blunt and warm. I'm having another test, and she indicated that, after that test, we will either go forward right away with the formal evaluation (it takes several months) or defer it, but eventually I'm going to need a heart transplant. Given my age, it's better to get on the List ASAP.

Dr. X never said "die." Rather, "you'll live longer with a heart transplant than without." And I didn't ask about times or prognosis, because I have so many uninked stamps that it will take a very long time to use them all and why ask? 

Eventually, I'm going to talk about all the things -- the fears, the information, the tests, the details, the gratitude, the research, the risks, the health policy issues, the chance that I'll actually get a heart, all of it.

But for now, I'm just letting you know what's been going on. I'm hoping that I will educate and encourage folks to become organ donors. But the most important reason to blog about this is, selfishly, to give me an outlet to record all the things. I think it will help me process all of this. But I promise this blog is not going to turn into a medical blog. I've got cards to make and share, and most importantly, my life cannot be about this one thing,

In the meantime, I'm fine. If you spent any time with me, except for getting a little short of breath at times, you would have no idea that I had a heart condition. I'M FINE.

So, I'm on an adventure and you are welcome to come along for all the things. 




Jan 7, 2020

Mondo Great


Pulled out the Mondo Gerbera Daisy from Essentials by Ellen. Just love a big old flower, particularly if Julie Ebersole designed it.

Stamped the daisy with Versamark on Bristol Smooth paper and embossed in white. Watercolored with Zig Clear Color pens and cut out by hand. Added a purple stripe with one of the Zig markers and blended lightly with water. Used white gouache paint to speckle the cardstock.

Went with a sunny yellow daisy with a purplish center because I was in the mood for bold and bright and fun and complementary colors will give that pop, even if there are no gerbera daisies with this combination.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Great! A Mondo Great feeling to be back creating. Hobbies are wonderful things and I missed stamping. Hope to be back soon with more cards.



Dec 23, 2019

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah

Wishing all of you peace, love, and health.

And crafts supplies!

Woke up early a couple of weeks ago with a craving to color and this is what I came up with -- strawberry and pistachio ice cream cones. YUM!


I wanted to practice using my Copics and the Big & Bold Sweetest Birthday Cone is perfect for that. There's Nuvo Crystal Glaze on those cherries -- finally a product that does not clog. Thank you, Nuvo. 

While this is the only stamping I've done in a month or so, I remain engaged in the industry -- following all the developments and what you all are making. Don't think I'd be happy to totally walk away from stamping, so we'll see where it goes. 




MOOD WHEN DONE: It felt good to be in my craft room again. Hopefully, the mood will strike again soon. In the meantime, thanks so much for visiting my blog and/or my IG page. That connection is fun and meaningful.

The holidays can be very difficult for some. Traditionally, I dread them and can't wait for Christmas to be over (even though I'm enjoying it too. weird!). This year, I'm just enjoying it. Life's not perfect, but I'm seizing on all the moments. I hope you can too. 

Nov 24, 2019

Choices




I've had my eye on a hot foil system for a while. My friend got one and I saw her results and really loved them. So I've asked Santa for one.* At the same time, I've also been thinking -- a lot -- about packing up all my supplies and turning my craft room into a I have-no-idea-what room but not a stamping room.

Makes no sense, but I'm just not that into stamping anymore and not that into posting my stuff (made a bunch of Christmas cards that I haven't posted). It's not that I don't have any mojo, I've just lost interest. 

This is a serious problem.

But before we get to that, I got new eyeglasses. They are red. I love them. And I went on a road trip with my SIL and took this picture somewhere in the middle of the desert where we stopped for something. I love her.

1. The Crazy

Stamping takes up almost all the crazy in my head and calms it down. Turn on the TV or music, pick up a stamp, and I'm lost in a good way. Concentrating on the crooked layers or the messed up Copic coloring stops my brain from its non-stop worrying and obsessing about all the things. Studying the masters, like Julie Ebersole or Laura Bassen keeps me sane (but also a little frustrated but that's another story).

Truth: Mike is extraordinarily neat. As in he never ever leaves anything where it doesn't belong, for even a minute. (I know, it's sad.) So when he left his shoes in the living room, I googled brain tumor symptoms. Turns out brain tumors can cause unusual behaviors and I started looking up brain tumor doctors in Dallas. That took up 5 minutes of my life, and was promptly followed by worrying about something else. Stamping stops this. For a while.

2. My Life at Stake?

It's hard to eat and stamp. You can't eat a piece of cake or a fudgy brownie with an ink pad in your hand. Ok, I'm proud to say that if anyone can, I can, but it's not easy. Plus eating in my craft room could attract one of the 856 bugs that love Texas. So if I give up stamping, I'll eat more crap and die earlier surrounded by bugs. It's a life and death issue.

3. Can This Marriage Survive?

I'm retired. Except for Wednesdays, when I volunteer, I literally have nothing to do.***  Mike got alarmed when I told him I was thinking of giving up stamping. His exact words were:

"Unacceptable. You will stamp whether you like it or not."

Suspect he's afraid that if I give up stamping I'll have more time to try and get him to talk.***

So what to do? Do I invest in a hot foil $y$tem and all the crap that goes with it or walk away? 

* The chances that Santa will understand that I want the system that is compatible with my Gemini Jr and that I will also need hot foil plates and hot foil foil is nil. I'll find the link for Santa and email it to him. Not sure that this is how gift giving at Christmas should be but I've de-linked "Christmas" and "should."
** Don't hate on me. I put in my time working and taking care of everyone. I've earned this.
*** Truth. It's the holy grail of marriage. If he ever shares his true feelings, I'll really be googling brain tumor symptoms.****
**** Now, I'm worried that by joking about brain tumors (seriously a horrible disease) I'm bringing the wrath of karma on my house. PLEASE I'M JUST KIDDING.




Nov 10, 2019

Metallic Paint on Colored Cardstock: 5 Cards


Inspired by this card, made by the fabulous Kristina Werner. Isn't it gorgeous?

Kristina used Altenew metallic paints on black watercolor paper. However, I decided to u$e what I have -- black cardstock and Prima Marketing Metalic Accents-Basic watercolors and was happy with the results. 

Whenever I copy someone else's card, I try and stick to the original card as much as possible, and then branch out. I love how Kristina made her sentiment -- she painted the black paper with red metallic paint and then embossed the sentiment on it. So I did that for the first card, but then I got lazy and decided to stamp and emboss directly on the card. Making lots of cards will do that.

These cards use The Ton's Poinsettia Wreath set. The top card uses a sentiment from Penny Black,  but I substituted a sentiment from Concord & 9th for the rest of the cards because it fit perfectly inside the wreath.


As you can see, changing the color of the cardstock (the card above is navy), the embossing powder, and the shade of metallic paint makes a big difference.





MOOD WHEN DONE:  Great! This was fun. Metallic paints do not blend the way watercolors blend. The metallic pigment prevents that. However, the shine from the paint and the sequins is really fun, particularly for Christmas cards. I'm leaving on Tuesday for a road trip with my SIL to California. My first time seeing the West. I'll let you know how it goes.

Nov 1, 2019

Merry Santas


Been seeing a lot of colorful Christmas cards, particularly some really fun ones by Laura Bassen and I had to give it a try. Not your typical Christmas card, but I love all this fun color.

Chose a not-realistic (can there be such a thing???) Santa image from an old Hero Arts set, and blended a variety of Distress Oxide inks in an ombre pattern, embossed in white, and die cut. The sentiment is from an unlabeled set that Laura sent me and it works so well with these fun Santas. 

After I popped up each Santa, I waited until November 1 to go to Joann's and buy the white pom-poms. I spent ZERO $$ on papercrafting during October (and I'm still alive), but I was at Joann's right after it opened today! The pom-poms make the card, so I was glad I waited. I adhered them with mini glue dots, and I think they'll stay on through the mail if I wrap the card with tissue paper.



MOOD WHEN DONE: Merry! After a month of no spending, I'm looking forward to buying a few things, but gosh, there is so much to choose from.  Designers are continuing to produce some really fun products so it's hard to choose. I wish they would all take a month off!