Jul 1, 2019

Positivity


I love this sentiment so much -- it's from Voices in My Head by Julie Ebersole at Essentials by Ellen. Know a few folks (I mean pretty much everyone, right?) who could use some positive thoughts.

Decided that this My Favorite Things stencil would work great with the sentiment. Placed the stencil over watercolor paper and masked each section one at a time. Rubbed Distress Oxide inks onto an acrylic block, spritzed with water, and then picked up the paint and watercolored each section over the stencil.

Made a second card, using essentially the same technique, except I used a blender
brush to color in with the same Distress Oxide inks onto Neenah Solar White cardstock.




MOOD WHEN DONE:  I'm good. Like the cards and really enjoyed making them and that's what this hobby is all about, right?



Jun 27, 2019

Alcohol Marker Background


Decided it was time for some bright fun colors. The blue panel and pink flowers are one panel -- stamped, masked, and colored with Copic and Altenew alcohol markers, including the blue background.

Supplies:  Altenew Smile More  and Beautiful Day. Assorted markers, sequins, etc. White splatters from white gouache, water, and a paint brush.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  This. was. fun. I have no idea what I'm doing with alcohol markers, but I like the result and I hope the recipient does!


Jun 24, 2019

Learning Through Inspiration: Kate Shudrova (Day 2)

This post is a part of a series on improving my card making by studying other designers' cards. If you're unfamiliar with this series, you can learn more about it here

Today I'm continuing my study of the super talented Kate Shudrova. By the way, Kate's has been posting a bunch of new cards on her Instagram feed. You don't have to join IG to see them. Check them out here


KATE'S CARD





WHAT I LIKE ABOUT KATE'S CARD

  • Using a kraft card base with the popped-up burst of flowers is a fantastic combination.
  • Placing the sentiment in the lower corner is unexpected and it works. I wouldn't have thought of that.
  • Adding white to a kraft card always brightens up the kraft.
  • See the stitching on the left of the card? It's another unexpected detail that adds visual interest without detracting from the clean and "simple" look. I also like how Kate only stitched over edge of the floral arrangement but kept the rest of the arrangement popped up.
  • It's gorgeous!! 
MY CARD



WHAT I LEARNED
  • Haven't used a kraft card base in awhile and I think I'll use them more often. It's a nice change from white.
  • Love the placement of the sentiment. Kate's works a bit better because her main image is larger and almost points to the sentiment. But I like mine too. I'll use this layout again.
  • My focal image is smaller than Kate's and when I placed the hydrangea against the kraft panel it looked a little lost. It needed something to tie it to the sentiment. So I added some white gouache paint speckles and I think that worked well. 
  • Kate's card has a beautiful selection of reds and blues. I decided to mimic that by varying the colors of the petals. It's not a particularly "realistic" rendering of a hydrangea, but this is me, and I'm not Hallmark!
  • Keep reading....
Supplies for my card:  Essentials by Ellen by Julie Ebersole Mondo Hydrangea stamp and die (an all time favorite); sentiment from Abstract Builder by Pinkfresh Studios; and Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Well, this was quite the process. I started out studying this gorgeous card that Kate recently posted: 


Everything about this card speaks to me -- the shine, the one layer, no embellishments. You could walk into an upscale boutique and find this. 

Despite numerous attempts, using different sentiments, papers, watercolors, metallic paints, and ink pads, I just couldn't make anything that I would send to anyone or share online. A lot of paper died in the effort. 

I learned that to make a card like this, you need the perfect sentiment, the ability to paint in just the right spot, and the right combination of paper and metallic paints. Kudos to Kate, but it will be awhile before I'll try this again!

EDITED TO ADD:  Breaking news on Kate's card. Turns out she used foil to add that gorgeous shine. Kate told me that she used a digital brush or image, printed out on a laser printer, and then foiled. Genius.



Jun 20, 2019

Positive Mental Vibes


I just love the set Voices in My Head by Julie Ebersole! I also love Pinkfresh Studio's Abstract Builder. As soon as they came, I started fooling around with both of them and ended up with this quick card. Used a small splatter type stamp to frame the sentiment in two colors and added the heart embellishment.

Busy day, so I'll cut this short.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  No complaints, except for the heat. Yikes! BTW, I need a Voices in My Head by Julie Ebersole, Volume II!!

Jun 18, 2019

Learning Through Inspiration: Kate Shudrova (Day One)


Learning Through Inspiration is back! This is a series on improving my card making by studying other designers' cards. If you're unfamiliar with this series, you can learn more about it here.

* * *

Today I'm introducing some lessons learned by studying Ekaterina a/k/a Katherine (Kate) Shudrova, who blogs at Little Things. It's the perfect name for her blog as every one of her cards is a little piece of design happiness. Kate is also on Instagram as Thingiewingie, and on Flickr.

Kate lives in Russia. Lately, I find that some of my favorite new-to-me designers are from outside the US, particularly in Russia and the countries nearby. There's a style to their work -- light and airy -- that I love.

Kate is not new to me -- I've been a huge fan of Kate's work for a long time, and am always thrilled when she posts a card -- which isn't as often as I would like! If you check out her cards, you'll see that they are "clean and simple," but often have an unusual layout or an interesting use of dies. She adds fun details, and the result is fun and fresh. I love everything she makes! 

KATE'S CARD


WHAT I LIKE ABOUT KATE'S CARD

  • The layout -- I never think to cut a layer on angles. It adds a lot of interest without a lot of bulk. 
  • The sewing on the top and bottom white layer is the perfect touch. Again, as her blog is titled, it's those little things that Kate does that I love so much.
  • Solid flowers -- Kate uses a lot of solid images and it's a refreshing break from all the coloring I've been seeing and been doing.
  • White and kraft is a great combination. 
  • Except for the sewing, this card is reproducible. I can do this! 
MY CARD


WHAT I LEARNED

  • I pretty much set out to copy Kate's card. Along the way, I made a few changes, some were intentional and some were not. Take a moment to look at both cards. Can you spot the changes?
  • I learned that these changes make a difference. In general, everything Kate did added to the softness of her card, while mine ended up bolder.
  • The color and placement of my flowers differ. Kate used blue and yellow and I substituted a pink/coral combination for the blue. Kate's colors are a bit softer and that's a personal preference. Either one works.
  • But notice where Kate placed her yellow flower. It's slightly higher than the blue flower. When I stamped my card, I didn't notice that and placed the flowers on the same plane. Kate's is a bit more interesting -- the eye moves around the card more easily.
  • Kate added a few light splatters on her card and I opted not to do so. I just didn't want to risk messing up the card, and I don't think it made a big difference -- although the light splatters add to the softer look of Kate's card.
  • Kate chose a finer sentiment, which is consistent with her paler colors -- mine is bolder and goes better with my color palette. 
  • Kate added some fun sewing with loose threads on the top and bottom of the white panel. I don't sew. While I prefer her cleaner look, this is another style preference. It's neater and easier to mail and just plain fun. 
  • Finally, look at the bottom of Kate's white panel. The lower left corner does not extend all the way down the length of the kraft cardbase. Mine does. I think this does make a difference -- Kate's card looks more balanced. 
  • It's amazing what you notice when you really study a card. Go ahead and look at a card you like, close your laptop or phone, and make a copy. See what you notice about the first card after you are done! It's a great exercise.
My supplies: Altenew A Beautiful Day. Sentiment is from Concord & 9th.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy! I so appreciate Kate's willingness to let me post her card. I'll be back with a couple of more posts focusing on Kate's fantastic cards. 

It's so great to be back stamping. I'm feeling 100% and am thrilled to say that! 

Jun 13, 2019

Timeless



Recently bought Timeless Tulips from Mama Elephant. (Part of my pre surgery binge!) It's an older set, but I've had my eye on it for a long time. It's, well, timeless! No regrets on this purchase.

Decided to keep my first card with this stamp simple -- stamp on watercolor paper, emboss in white, and add some watercolor. Then I added the little heart and the sentiment, trimmed, and adhered with foam tape on slate cardstock.


MOOD WHEN DONE: I'm sitting here feeling particularly grateful for every single good thing. I hope you all have enough good in your life to feel grateful!

Spent a couple of hours yesterday sending cards to some folks who need a lift. I find that sending all this paper, rather than let it clog my craft room, is a wonderful lift for me! If you want a card, feel free to email me at imakeitalk@gmail.com and I'll put you on my list! 

Jun 7, 2019

Flora & Fauna Thank You


Went on a crafty shopping spree before my recent surgery (it's the new hidden cost of health care!), and wow, I have a lot of new-to-me things in the house. So, when I needed a thank you card, of course I reached for a set that I've had for a long time because nothing I bought sang to me.

I have limited ability to shop smart.  I take a long time to decide what to get, often filling up shopping carts at multiple stores (sorry), and then very carefully pressing spend. And I still make mistakes! Some of the stamps I bought are much larger (or much smaller) than my brain processed. Or they don't seem as versatile as I first thought. Or, I try them and am not happy with the results.

--->  Minor life issue, but I would love to hear how you wade through the onslaught of new products. It's not just that there are so many products, but I miss being able to eyeball the products in a brick and mortar store. 

In any event, for this card, I masked off a space for a watercolored background and then stamped images and a sentiment from Flora & Fauna's Graphic Flowers set (which appears to be retired) on watercolor paper.  No coloring required with this technique.

And then I was done.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Good! All quiet over here. Recovery is going well...