Sep 14, 2020

A few cards


I've been posting on Instagram and enjoying it quite a bit. It's a great community of crafters. Here's a sample of what I've been making. (To be honest, I forgot to save pictures of most of my cards!). 







As you can see, I'm focusing on colors and shapes. It's fun!

MOOD WHEN DONE: Fine! I'm going to make an effort to post more on the blog so stay tuned.

I hope those of you affected by the fires, hurricanes, and COVID are doing well. 2020 is one hot mess, that's for sure! We combine gratitude with concern. Have to relearn that lesson every day!

Jul 24, 2020

Summer Break Time




I'll be posting my cards on Instagram. However, for those of you who don't want to go to IG, I'll come back here about once a month and post a round up of my cards. 

My IG account is HERE.

Thanks, and hope summer is kind to you and your family!!

Jul 23, 2020

Merimekko Style and Some Tips




Merimekko was huge in the 70s -- fabric, dinnerware, bedding -- I loved the big bold bright patterns. I googled to see if the company is still in business, and yes it certainly is. Now I want to buy something with one of those patterns!

In the meantime, I made this card, hoping to emulate the feel of those designs. I don't have Scandinavian style stamps to get the look I wanted, so I used this beautiful large solid flower from Watercolor Bouquet from The Stamp Market. Added a black dot image from Flora & Fauna. The sentiment is All Lined Up from The Stamp Market.

Inks: Blueprint Sketch and Lemonade Distress Oxide, Versafine Onyx, and Versamark.

If you like this look (it's not for everyone, but I love it), here are a few tips.

1. Merimekko is usually: 1. one big bright color + 2. a smaller bright color + 3. black + 4. white.
2. Think ahead about the sentiment. You don't want to cover up that smaller bright color. 
3. Unless you have a stamp set with the perfect coordinating stamp, finding a way to incorporate black can be tricky. Again, think ahead.
4. Repeatedly stamping a large image requires patience. I wanted a solid image and I knew I could get that with the MISTI, but I was careful to clean and dry the stamp before I moved it. Otherwise, as soon as I put the stamp on the paper I wouldn't be able to move it as the ink would transfer. All that moving and cleaning means your hands will get dirty. Wash them while you are stamping or you'll ruin the panel (expert on this one!!).
5. Enjoy! Using Distress Oxide inks or other pigment type inks is a sure fire way to get a solid image. However, repeatedly stamping with dye inks can work too. I stamped twice each time with the Blueprint Sketch ink and got a great result.
6. If all this rich color isn't your thing, try colors you like. I think this would look great with pale pink instead of bright blue. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy!! And I hope you are too.


Jul 22, 2020

Missing Us


Oh yes I do. I miss seeing people!!

Pulled out an older heart stamp from The Stamp Market and used my new Concord & 9th inks -- Honeysuckle and Aqua Sky. Because this is large image, I stamped them 3 times and the color darkened quite a bit. Drew a black line around the insides of the hearts because the 2 hearts looked like they needed something. 

Sentiment is from a CZ Design sentiment strip available at Simon Says. And that little heart? I wandered around my craft room looking at embellishments and decided to look for a tiny stamp -- this is from an old Hero Arts ice cream cone set.

Speaking of which, an ice cream cone would be awesome! 

MOOD WHEN DONE:  Great! Hope all is well in your life.


Jul 21, 2020

Won't You Be My Neighbor?




Got my hands on the new Concord&9th inks and decided to use them right away. I bought the ink cubes. They are foam and all I've done with them so far is make this card by rubbing the inks on a plastic sheet and lightly watercoloring. LOVE these colors. I hope to swatch and talk about them after I've had more experience with them. I haven't used foam ink pads and already I can see how different they are. Stay tuned! 

Used this great set called City Stacks, also from Concord&9th. I've wanted this for a while and was so happy when it arrived! (It's the little things.) I skipped the coordinating dies. Dies are so pricey that I only get them now when I think I would use them a lot

MOOD WHEN DONE: Good! Yesterday was a washout as I wasn't feeling great but all that's behind me and I am so happy to be back in my stamp room. Amazing how much this hobby helps! 


Jul 19, 2020

Happy




Craving a good cake lately. A friend dropped off some killer "Hostess Style Cupcakes" (but made from scratch), and they were sooo good. Ever since then, I've had cake on the brain. Rather than make one, and scarf down even more sugar (don't ask), I made this card instead. 

Used Altenew's Layered Cupcake set  (colored mine with Copics, rather than use the layer stamps). 

Made a shaker card and filled it with these super cute Hai Confetti Sweet Treat embellishments. I like that they are flat and very thin. Hai makes a lot of different types of adorable embellishments. 

After I made the shaker card, decided that a plain white card front just didn't look right, so I blended some Distress Tattered Rose and Altenew Mountain Mist inks on the top and bottom of the front, trimmed, and adhered to a white card. Then I added the pre printed sentiment. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy! I think I put a bit too many of the confetti embellishments in the card as they obscure a bit too much of the cupcake, but live and learn....


Jul 15, 2020

Colorful Cacti



Had a great idea for a card using Reverse Confetti's Multi-Step Cacti, but it hasn't worked out -- yet.

Decided to go the Laura Bassen route and make this fun and colorful card using one of the cacti in the set and this awesome sentiment from Voices in My Head  designed by Julie Ebersole. I mean you pair up those two designers, and how can you go wrong? 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Great! 

It's funny how I can be anxious to go to a restaurant and whine about it, and at the same time,be incredibly grateful for a kitchen full of food. Life's a mystery. 


Jul 14, 2020

Stripes + Sentiment = Happy


Fun and simple to make (really) card today.
  1. Stamped the sentiment onto Bristol Smooth paper with Versafine Onyx and embossed in clear. (Love the different sized fonts on Reverse Confetti's Best Sentiments.) 
  2. Embossed in black ink/clear embossing powder.
  3. Painted stripes, starting right above the sentiment and worked up. Used Adirondack Sail Blue reinker (no longer made) and a size 12 round brush. No water, except a damp brush. The different shades came from dipping just the tip of the brush into the drop of reinker every few stripes.
  4. Needed something. Found a heart stamp on the shutter on the window above my table! Stamped with Distress Oxide Salty Ocean. A great match. 
  5. Trimmed panel so that the finished card would be about 3/8" narrower than an A2 card. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy. Makes me want to be at the ocean! 
 


Jul 13, 2020

5 Easy Cards Using Carly's Download




You want fast, colorful, fun, and easy?
Well, I've got all that today.
And NO sequins or gems!

Used a free downloadable template from Carlytee Minner. You can find it here. Super simple -- download the template, print on cardstock, trim, score, and add your stamping or other items. You will use one piece of cardstock for one card, but for me it was more than worth it. 



This uses a floral stamp from Penny Black, which I ink blended in pale blue.


Added some color with a stamp from Pinkfresh Studio Abstract Builder and some dots from a My Favorite Things set.  Purple is not my go to color, but I'm stretching! 


Borrowed Carly's design here. She stamped a cascade of pretty flowers down the card from Everyday Doodles. I substituted butterflies. (This is my favorite of the bunch.)


Stamped a small heart in 3 different colors. Sweet. 


The simplest -- ran two shades of Altenew ink cubes over the sentiment.

Thanks to Carly for providing the starting point and the ideas for decorating these cards. If you aren't familiar with Carly, check out her IG feed and her blog. They are chock full of colorful clever cards.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy! 

Jul 12, 2020

Stained Glass Butterfly




Another card with Reverse Confetti's Stained Glass Butterflies and Best Sentiments. Copic colored.  Wink of Stella on the butterfly. 



MOOD WHEN DONE: Colorful

Jul 10, 2020

I Care



Used a couple of Reverse Confetti sets for this card -- Stained Glass Butterflies and Best Sentiments. There are 2 big butterflies that steal the show, but my eyes fell in love with this flower first -- it looks a bit tropical.

1. Trimmed a panel of 110 lb. white cardstock to 4" x 5.25".
2. Stamped the sentiment in the center with random ink (I knew I'd be covering it up).
3. Die cut the flower image as shown (practiced on typing paper first to get the placement right.)
4. Stamped the flowers on assorted colors of cardstock with Versamark and embossed in white. 
5. Colored the center of the flowers with Copic markers. 
6. Hand cut roughly to fit underneath the die cuts.
7. Then came the hard part -- getting those flowers in the right place onto another piece of cardstock.
8. Took a bit of trial and error. Ok, a lot of trial and error! 
9. Adhered the top layer with foam tape.
10. Made and trimmed the sentiment and adhered it with more foam tape.
11. Added the panel to a cream A2 card. 



MOOD WHEN DONE: Delighted! This card took a while to make, but I loved the result. 

Unfortunately, just as we were hoping to be able to get out a bit, Covid exploded in Dallas. That was a jolt, but we cope by staying home. It's super hot and humid so staying inside isn't so bad! 

I mentioned early in June that I was reading White Fragility and that I would talk about it when I was done. I read a bit of it, and then didn't finish it. I went on to read much shorter pieces by black authors (I have a short attention span!). When I sat down to write about my thoughts, I decided that I didn't have much to say that was unique or helpful. But I have found the national conversation about race to be long overdue and illuminating in many ways.

Hope you have a good weekend! 

Jul 9, 2020

Calm!!



Stamped a panel with a set of solid flowers by The Stamp Market (I don't think it is available anymore). Any set of various sized solid florals and greenery will work. Used a variety of Altenew green and teal inks. Stamped and embossed that sentiment in the middle of the panel and messed it up.

Sulked.

Cut out the center to salvage something. Popped up the frame with foam tape and then stamped the sentiment (Altenew). In other words, backwards. Added the gems, which may be more than this card needed, but sparkle they do!

MOOD WHEN DONE: Ms. Moody McNasty this morning, but played a board game (Dominion) with the husband, and that always brightens my day, even when I lose, which I often do. I lucked out when I sweet-talked that man into marrying me! HA. 

Hope you are ok!!

Jul 7, 2020

Using Part of a Background Stamp



Decided to make a few cards using only a portion of Pinkfresh Studio's Lemon Lush background stamp and here is one of them. This stamp is gorgeous! 

Stamped in Versamark Onyx and colored just the background with a teal Zig Clear Color pen. Trimmed and adhered. Added a sentiment from CZ Designs Sentiment Strip Miss You (these are preprinted) and a tiny blue heart from a collection from Altenew. 

Originally planned on adding a few sequins, but after I laid them out, they looked like an afterthought. Ah, the great embellishment mystery! 

MOOD WHEN DONE: This was fun! Coloring just the background was also different for me -- if you decide to do this, proceed slowly. When you are right on top of an image, it can be hard to differentiate between the background and a large flower, etc. Ask me how I know....


Jul 6, 2020

Adding Color When You Can't (or Don't Want to) Color




Love the lush, realistic, florals that Power Poppy sells. This Azalea stamp set is gorgeous!
However, every time I stamped and tried to color the flowers in this set, I didn't like the result. 

Finally, saw a scrap of leftover watercolor paper sitting on my desk and stamped part of the image over a part of the scrap paper. Used Versafine ink, and with the MISTI I only needed to make 2 impressions to get a clear image.  



At first I thought the black frame was too dark for the card, but I showed it to a couple of friends on a Zoom chat and they liked it -- so I kept it. To add some dimension, I die cut and stacked 4 of the frames. Added a few clear sequins and some white Nuvo drops and the card came together very quickly.



MOOD WHEN DONE: Good! This is a great technique when you are stuck. Assuming, of course, that you get stuck!

It's another cloudy, rainy day in Dallas today but our lawn is getting fed for free, so I'm not complaining.  Hope you are having a no complaint day! 

Jul 5, 2020

Hot Foiling: Should You Take the Plunge? (My Son Weighs In!)



My first card with hot foiling! 

Should you take the plunge and buy hot foiling supplies? 
Read on, and keep in mind that I have no affiliation with any company. 
I paid full price for everything.  

What is hot foiling and how does it differ from embossing?

Hot foiling is a method of impressing metal plates (a "foil stamp") and special foil into paper. Basically, you create foiled letterpress. In contrast, embossing leaves a raised impression. 

My son: "How much does this stuff cost?"

What do you need to in order to hot foil?

1. foil stamps,
2. foil (thin sheets with a metallic shine on one side) specifically designed for hot foiling,
3. a hot foil machine, and 
4. a compatible die cutting machine.

While I have not tried it yet, I've seen videos showing how you can hot foil using embossing folders and some of the dies we already have. Some foil stamps also die cut or have coordinating dies. 

The 2 companies I am aware of that make a hot foil machine and foil stamps are Spellbinders and Crafters Companion. A few other companies, like Picket Fence Studios, also make foil stamps. You'll see them called by different names. Picket Fence, for example, calls them Foil Impressions Dies. 

Son: "It's like a printer. The machine itself doesn't cost a lot, but they get you with the supplies. How much do those foil stamps cost?"

We raised a person who does not like to spend money!

Cost?

The machines cost between $75 and $130, depending on which machine you buy and where you buy it. The foil stamps vary as well but the cost seems comparable to dies.

Spellbinders frequently has sales and you should always check out their shop before buying Spellbinders hot foil supplies elsewhere. 

What's the learning curve?

For me -- moderate. I have the Crafter's Companion machine (more on why I got that particular machine later). I found the written directions confusing. Luckily, there are many videos on how to foil and how to use this particular machine, and frankly, I had my husband help me. 

Unlike most die cutting, you cannot see what you are designing. You place the foil stamp (or plate) on the platform, then place the foil on top of it, and then the paper on top of the foil. Doing it this way makes it near impossible to get precise placement because you cannot see the foil stamp when you place cardstock on top of it. 

However, Yana Smakula (the hot foiling queen), who works for Spellbinders, created a clever work around using light weight washi tape to create a hinge to secure the foil stamp, foil, and paper.  

For the card above, I used Yana's washi tape technique to secure the foil stamp sentiment and foil onto the center of my stenciled cardstock. Nevertheless, the sentiment came out a bit crooked, so I had to trim the panel to center the sentiment. 

I need more practice. There is a definite learning curve, but it can be done! 

Son: "Does that thing get hot?" Yes, it does. Be careful.

Do you "need" hot foiling?

Not at all. You can continue to make great cards without hot foiling.

I resisted this purchase for a long time. My friend Pam was my hot foil enabler. She has the Spellbinders Glimmer machine and brought it over. I saw her make some beautiful cards using that machine and my old Big Shot. She also gave me a bunch of foiled sentiments. It helped to see it in action.

I was mighty tempted, but it wasn't until I was staying home and not spending much money on anything that I bought a machine. I am glad I did. I'm a big fan of the result.

Son: "Mom, I like the embossing better." 

A fad or here to stay?

When Spellbinders and Crafter's Companion first came out with hot foil machines, there was a flurry of posts on social media featuring hot foiling. Since then, I don't see a lot of cards using hot foiling. In addition, a few stamp companies released hot foil plates. But, I don't see a lot of companies doing so now. (Luckily, the plates that Spellbinders sells are gorgeous. Laurie Willison, Yana Smakula, and Becca Feeken all have lines.)

This tells me that hot foiling hasn't taken off like die cutting, but I think there are enough fans that it is here to stay.

Son: "I like that card you made with it."

Should you take the plunge?

My bottom line: It's a fun option, but not a must have. It's another expense, it's time consuming to figure out how to incorporate foiling into cardmaking, and the stuff takes up space (I ended up buying a 4' x 2' folding table to keep my hot foil machine and supplies segregated from the rest of my supplies.)
  • If you are new to cardmaking, get a MISTI, invest in high quality basic supplies, learn techniques, and pass on hot foiling for now. 
  • If you are looking for something new, love letterpress foiling on cards, and have the $$, patience, and space -- go for it!! 
  • If you are on the fence, wait. Watch some videos, and look at cards non-professionals make with the machine. Don't know about you, but I'm never going to make Yana-quality cards and I like to see what folks like me can produce.
Am I glad I bought it? Yes.

My son: "This room is getting crowded."

Yes, it is.

I want to hot foil. Which machine should I get?

You need to choose a machine that is compatible with your die cut machine (or buy a new die cut machine). 

The Crafter's Companion hot foil machine only works with the Crafter's Companion Gemini Jr. die cut machine (or the Gemini with a special plate). It will NOT work with your Big Shot or other die cut machine.

The Spellbinders hot foil machine works with the Spellbinders die cut machine and I understand from friends and videos that it also works with the Big Shot and other die cut machines. However, it will NOT work with the Gemini Jr. or Gemini die cut machine. They are competitors!

I have a Gemini Jr die cut machine so I got the Crafter's Companion hot foil machine. I love the Spellbinders foil stamps and use those in my Crafter's Companion machine.

I've linked a video below that does a great job comparing the features of these machines. 

Son: "Are we done discussing this?"

Yes, we are! 

Below are some links to useful information.


Crafter's Companion (Note, I got my machine on Amazon for less)

Spellbinders (Their supplies are often on sale and they have a monthly hot foil kit)

Yana Smakula's You Tube Site (Search for hot foil videos. Yana has a ton of beautiful ideas and many tips and tricks. A must read.)


Nancy Stamps This you tube channel has a LOT of fantastic information on how to hot foil.


About the card -- I die cut different sized circles into stencil material and stenciled the background using 3 shades of Distress Oxide ink -- Picked Raspberry, Worn Lipstick, and Tattered Rose -- onto Neenah Solar White 80 lb cardstock. 

Using a foil stamp from the Spellbinders June 2020 Hot Foil Kit of the Month, I impressed the sentiment using gold foil. Here's a great video explaining what's in this kit. Trimmed and popped up with foam adhesive.

Kits are funny -- you are buying blind, but I decided to take a chance and subscribed. Loved the June kit; don't like the July kit. I'll see how it goes and then decide whether to keep the subscription. Edited to add: I've been advised that you can skip a month, which I did so I won't get July's kit. Thanks to my friend Pam and to a commenter below for letting me know. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: I'm happy with this simple card. 

So, what do you think? Do you have a machine already? Are you using it? Is this just not for you?  I would love to hear your thoughts. As always, if you cannot leave a comment, you can always email me











Jul 2, 2020

Be Happy





Can't get enough of the Mondo flowers designed by Julie Ebersole. I only have 3 of them, but it's clear I need more! (I think I saw on IG that a Mondo Violet ?? is coming out in July. If so, I want it!). 

1. Sprayed water on watercolor paper and added reinkers. Sprayed again and let dry.
2. Stamped Mondo Gerbera Daisy with Versamark and embossed with Hero Arts white embossing powder (my favorite).
3. Hand cut the flower and trimmed to fit card.
4. Made an A2 Kraft card and stenciled Hero Arts Unicorn ink, using a stencil from Altenew.
5. Added black dots/splatters.
6. Trimmed a preprinted sentiment (the original says Always Be Happy) from Simon Says Stamp.
7. Adhered the sentiment and the daisy with foam tape. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Good!

I have what seems like a minor problem with my eye and that has kept me from stamping and blogging, but hopefully it will heal soon. (We don't know exactly what the problem is because I'm not inclined to go to the doc unless I have no choice. So the doctor is guessing at this point!).  

Hope you are having a good week! 




Jun 29, 2020

Sparkle & Shine




There's a lot of sparkle & shine on this card, but unless you are holding it in your hand, you might miss it. So -- 


1. Stamped balloons from Everyday Doodles. Designed by Julie Ebersole, and since she is a fun stamper, it makes sense that this is such a fun set.

2. Paid attention to some design rules here -- color sets are in triangle pattern and there is an odd number of balloons. 

3. Covered the balloons with Tonic Nuvo Crystal Glaze, which DOES NOT CLOG.  100% recommend this product. Let it dry.

4. Added a sentiment from Label Love, from Altenew. 

5. Adhered a bunch of teeny tiny stars (not sure who makes them but I bought them on Amazon a long time ago).  I dotted the card with glue and then threw a bunch of stars on the card and waited to see what stuck! 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Can't Remember!  Made this a few months ago! 

I think I would like this card better if I hadn't trimmed the balloon panel and popped it up on gray cardstock. But it's still a fun card.

Well, Dallas is a dumpster fire now with respect to Covid-19, but never fear -- my fingers can still do online shopping! Hope you are all well.

Jun 26, 2020

Repeating Hearts




 
The little heart die is from the Essentials by Ellen Folk Hearts die collection that I used in yesterday's card.
  1. Took a few ink cubes in a variety of warm colors and ran them across Neenah Solar white cardstock, overlapping the colors. I wanted some of the white to peek through. 
  2. Let it dry (this takes a while). 
  3. Made the sentiment and adhered it first.
  4. Die cut, popped up the hearts with foam tape, added some colored gems, and trimmed and popped up on pale gray cardstock. 
Thought trimming the panel on the top and bottom would be a good idea, but now I think it makes the card look too wide. But I still like it and it will go in the mail.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  So happy I have this hobby!! 



Jun 25, 2020

Merry June 25th!


Since it's the 25th of the month, I decided to start posting Christmas cards on the 25th of June - November (and probably other dates as the holiday gets closer). I want to build a stash this year and not freak out on Thanksgiving.

This set is Honey Bee's Christ is Born and it's a keeper. It's versatile -- embossing, Copics, watercoloring -- lots of choices. I also have the accompanying die that I will use at a later date.

I stamped and embossed the entire image a piece of dark red cardstock with Hero Arts gold embossing powder (I've found that Hero Arts' embossing powders work best for me). Then I colored in the robes that Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus are wearing with a dark red Copic - R89. It added a little contrast.

I made quite a few cards with the entire scene (I'll post those another time), but at the last minute I decided to use the 2nd largest die from Folk Hearts. If you are looking to get some basic dies, I highly recommend this set of hearts. I love the longer heart shape and have used these many times.

Added the sentiment and few gold gems, and popped up the heart on a white base.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy. Glad to get Christmas cards started and I love how this turned out.

Thinking about starting your holiday cards?  Already finished?

Jun 24, 2020

More Friendship Blooms


Trimmed a panel of cardstock and stroked ink cubes to form the design you see. I tried out different combinations of ink pads and cardstocks, and decided that one inch ink cubes on white cardstock worked best for me. These are a combination of Hero Arts and Altenew inks. I found very juicy or dark colors didn't work well.

When the panel is dry (wait!), stamp an outline image. In this case I used the beautiful Friendship Blooms set, by Hero Arts and Gina K. Looked through my stash and found this "hi" from an older Stamp Market set and decided it was the right size. Embossed in white on black and die cut.

Added some clear gems and adhered the panel with foam tape.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  Good!

I like how this came out.

I've been making Christmas cards and hope to post a few soon. Also I'm practicing using my Hot Foil system and hope to share some cards and thoughts next week.  In the meantime, stay safe!

Jun 19, 2020

Mondo Yellow Daisy


Outline flowers, like this awesome Mondo Gerbera Daisy by Julie Ebersole,  pairs nicely with this gorgeous yellow cardstock (Daffodil Delight by Stampin Up).  Perfect if you don't like to color or just want a change.

BTW, thanks so much for the thoughts on placing sentiments. I think this sentiment (such a nice saying) works great right where it is.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Excellent

My long running insomnia is having a field day during this pandemic. On the other hand, it's leftovers tonight so I should just rejoice!

Speaking of rejoicing, a company is testing out a new drug for my heart condition. I tried to be part of the clinical trial but I didn't meet the criteria. The company released the first data on the efficacy and safety of the drug and so far the results are very promising. The amount of people tested was quite small (because the criteria bumped out a lot of us) so that is always a reason to be cautious, but I am very encouraged that some day there might be a drug that helps people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

The test now goes into Phase 3 and then, if the results continue to be good, the drug would go to the FDA for approval. Even if I'm too old to benefit (I have no idea) I want to see others benefit, so I remain very hopeful.

Jun 18, 2020

Hello, Hello, Hello


Love that yellow, but decided to mix it up a bit.


And then I went back to one color. I think I prefer the one color cards.


No stamping and lots of patterned paper. So not me, but a welcome diversion. This paper is from Stampin Up Brights Designer Series Paper -- love that fun woodgrain.


The Hello Outline die is from Poppystamps. Little heart stickers from somewhere a long time ago!

I need to get back to flowers!

MOOD WHEN DONE: Great. I'll pop these in the mail soon and hopefully a few people will enjoy them.

Since it's June and I'm still very interested in legal developments, I'm reading all the big Supreme Court cases. Interesting stuff. If you ever want to read up on these cases, the best (nonpartisan) place is Scotusblog

Making cannoli this weekend! Hope my version is half way as good as the pastry I grew up eating. YUM.

And, since I'm rambling all over the place -- might as well make this a soap box. As long as some folks in Dallas refuse to wear masks, we remain hunkered down in our home, with minor exceptions. It baffles and maddens me, but it is what it is. So,


Jun 16, 2020

Sentiment Placement


I make a lot of cards that end up in the trash because I don't know where to put a sentiment. This card almost ended up in the trash, which would have been a shame because I LOVE this hydrangea. It's from the absolutely must-have-for-me Mondo Hydrangea set designed by Julie Ebersole.  (It's out of stock, but hopefully will be back soon.)

The first card (with the hello) is my final version, but the next card was my first attempt.


What do you think? The "Just Because" is ok there but it just looks like an afterthought to me. I moved it all over, but nothing looked right, but I'm not sure why.

So, I gently pulled off the Just Because and set it aside. As you can see in the top and final card, I decided to tuck a small Hello in the corner. I like it better, but since I struggle with this issue, I thought I'd ask -- where would you put a sentiment on this card?

Speaking of the card -- I added a blue reinker to a small water bottle and misted it over water color paper. It was pretty pale so I dropped some reinker and misted again with plain water. Took the panel outside and put it in the hot Texas sun and 2 minutes later it was dry!

Then I put the stamp over the parts of the panel that I thought would show variation in shade, embossed in white, die cut, and popped up with foam. Decided that it didn't need anything else.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Fine! Keeping as busy as I can. Hope you are having a good week.


Jun 12, 2020

Brightly Colored Lemon Lush


Used a beautiful background stamp, Lemon Lush, by Pinkfresh Studio to make this card. It took awhile but time I have!

1.  Stamped in Memento Tuxedo ink on Neenah solar white cardstock, and kept the paper and the stamp in the MISTI.
2.  Colored with Copics.
3.  Stamped with Versamark and embossed in gold.
4.  Trimmed and put on A2 white card.
5.  Added white Hello (it provided a badly needed 3rd white element). Eyes need a break from all that color.

This is crazy bright (Mike says I went overboard), but I just wanted a lot of COLOR and I like it. These background stamps are less versatile than a set with images, but they are a lot easier for me.

As you can see, I'm not the greatest at using Copics. I need to practice my blending, but it is fun. And someone is going to open an envelope to a riot of color and I do not think my friends will care that my blending is subpar. If the pandemic has done one good thing for my cardmaking it's that I'm sending so many more cards!



MOOD WHEN DONE:  Dandy!

Thanks for your comments. They make me smile! No news here, which is a good thing! Our week was calm. Turns out Coca Cola has temporarily stopped making a bunch of their smaller drinks, like Fresca. But I managed to find some and will move on when I run out, as the warehouses are empty (yes, I checked!). It's funny how we focus on the dumbest things!

Hope your weekend is a good one.

Jun 10, 2020

Simple, Go-to Layout


Stamp an image (or part of an image) on the top and bottom of a card + a sentiment in the middle = my favorite, simple, go-to layout. Works every time.

Used the Hero Arts/Gina K Designs Friendship Blooms set that I used in this post. Using the MISTI, stamped with pale yellow ink, and then partially inked the image with darker shades of yellow for a quick gradient look. Added a sentiment from Right at Home Stamps and a few clear jewels.

Seriously a one layer, 10 minute card.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  I really like how this turned out.

But, I'm moody. Most of the time I'm filled with gratitude and calm. Every few days I flip out for about a half hour. It feels "impossible" to basically stay inside until there is a vaccine; the country is spinning out of control, etc.; Coca Cola stopped making Fresca during the pandemic (!!!). Then I get a grip, grow up again, and go back to being fine. How are you?

Jun 8, 2020

Friendship Blooms


This is the Gina K Designs/Hero Arts collaboration stamp set -- Friendship Blooms. I love the fact that it is one big image -- no figuring out where to put the leaves, etc and no masking.



Stamped with assorted blue and purple inks on watercolor paper and moved around the inks with a wet paintbrush. Didn't even try to be an artist. Let it dry in the MISTI, and stamped over with Versafine Onyx.  Splattered some of the ink over the card.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy! Simple to make but I love how bright and colorful this is.

Stamping continues to be a wonderful way to cope with stress and escape. I'm lucky to have it. Staying at home gives me lots of time to read and think -- I am continuing my read of White Fragility (see my previous post) and I'm thinking, about myself and my country. It's never too late to grow and improve.




Jun 1, 2020

Uninformed and Ignorant

The tag line of this blog is "cards and talk." Today is talk.

It's hard to say anything meaningful about the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota from the living room of my almost entirely white neighborhood. The protests and riots in Dallas are a safe 5 miles from our house. I have little at risk, except perhaps my heart and soul.



I never really thought seriously about the phrase "white privilege." I think of myself as a caring, kind person (don't we all?), so I flew right past that one. But, after the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, at the recommendation of a friend, I began to read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. DiAngelo is white and she's addressed her book to white people.  I can't comment on the book yet because I'm still reading, but here's a quote from the beginning of the book that I've been thinking about a lot this weekend.

I am a white American raised in the United States. I have a white frame of reference and a white worldview, and I move through the world with a white experience. My experience is not a universal human experience. It is a particularly white experience in a society in which race matters profoundly; a society that is deeply separate and unequal by race. However, like most white people raised in the US, I was not taught to see myself in racial terms and certainly not to draw attention to my race or to behave as if it mattered in any way. Of course, I was made aware that somebody’s race mattered, and if race was discussed, it would be theirs, not mine. Yet a critical component of cross-racial skill building is the ability to sit with the discomfort of being seen racially, of having to proceed as if our race matters (which it does). Being seen racially is a common trigger of white fragility, and thus, to build our stamina, white people must face the first challenge: naming our race. OUR OPINIONS ARE UNINFORMED I have never met a white person without an opinion on racism. It’s not really possible to grow up in the United States or spend any significant time here—or any other culture with a history of Western colonization—without developing opinions on racism. And white people’s opinions on racism tend to be strong. Yet race relations are profoundly complex. We must be willing to consider that unless we have devoted intentional and ongoing study, our opinions are necessarily uninformed, even ignorant. 
DiAngelo, Robin J.. White Fragility (pp. 7-8). Beacon Press. Kindle Edition.

I'm not sure what I will think about the rest of this book, but this passage resonates.

My dear friend Susan Raihala linked this article on white privilege on her blog. It's also an excellent opportunity to listen and learn and become informed.







May 30, 2020

2 Cards Using Circle Dies + Some House Chat

I've got a couple of cards I made using no stamps -- just dies, paper, and adhesives.


Circle die (Hero Arts) and a Hello die from Right at Home. The Circles are popped up. Those hellos may bend in the mail, so I'll be sure to try and protect the card before I slip it into an envelop. The next size circle die was too big for 6 circles on an A2 card, so I went with the smaller one. Hope it works!


Cut some cardstock strips, die cut with a circle die and then cut the circles in half. (Note: using striped paper would have been a LOT easier.) The hello die is cut with gold glitter paper (not sure of the company that made the die).

MOOD WHEN DONE: Pondering

I like the idea of these cards, but they didn't quite meet my hopes.  I'm not sure if it is the colors or the layouts, but I'm not giving up on these geometric cards.

I've been spending a lot of time watching videos on YouTube and finally decided that IG + YouTube + Facebook + Blogs = too much social media, so I deleted my FB account. I thought about it for about 2 weeks and was concerned that I would miss it. But so far I don't. Better to spend that time on cooking videos (HA!).


And, for no reason at all, I took a picture of part of our house, which was built in 1930! I'm standing in the doorway between the breakfast room and the dining room, looking towards the living room at the front of the house. It's a sunny day, and even though no sun comes through the front, the picture is a bit washed out. I kind of like it! We were on the hunt for a painting for over the fireplace but the virus put an end to that. Someday.

In any event, that blue plastic tablecloth is on the DR table because that's where we are putting together jigsaw puzzles. Otherwise, I like to see the beautiful wood table underneath.

Speaking of art, see those 3 paintings on the wall?


They are made with encaustic wax. We bought them at a craft fair in Northern Virginia a few years ago and fell in love with the artist. I tried to take one off the wall to look for her name but they are on tight! Those walls are plaster over rock solid ship lap (or something like that). I am so tempted to buy some encaustic art supplies, but that's another rabbit hole in which I am not falling!

And that's it from Dallas. Stay safe. Stay healthy.