Friday, January 30, 2009

Salt challenge: Mercy

My favorite part of stamping is probably the cardstock & papers! The richness of colors, the variety of prints, etc, absolutely amazes me. I don't want to refer to the print on this as being "background paper," because as you see, it's the print I wanted to feature. The colors are wonderfull, and the black is actually a velour or some similar type material, it's really wonderful! I thought about ribbon, I thought about other embellishments, I thought about layering the text, but I was loath to cover any of this beautiful paper. So while the text is the focal point - I love this scripture! - I made it narrow, and refrained from adding anything else. :-)

I'd love to see more participation on the Salt challenge blog; the women there really take a devotional approach to their challenges, and it's great to have scripture and other aspects of Christian living to focus on while card making! Come visit!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

smARTworks challenge

The challenge over at smARTworks was from Giovana, for a card with real or faux stitching or ribbon. I chose faux ribbon: I meant to learn how to sew over winter break while my dd who sews taught me, but it didn't exactly happen. She started a piece of fabric for me, and I dutifully put in a couple of inches of stitching. The fabric scrap is still sitting there. :-)

I'd really been having a hard time getting card making done in the last couple of weeks, and yesterday was almost a total loss, until I posted on Gingerwood that I had "stamper's block." Their suggestions were great, and were enough to get me started last night. I hope I will remain in creative mode!

I had a couple of ribbon stamps from smARTworks, and embossed them last night with cranberry embossing powder. I tried using flocking, but that just made a mess; the stamp is too detailed, and my sticky embossing powder is dying. The shadow flower is actually green; it's hard to get light colors to show up on my camera the way they really appear. (Also, the flower is actually the same burgundy color as the stamped ribbon).

I finished the card this morning, barely on time to get ready for a family friend to come to over to work on her wedding invitations. Lots of fun, but quite a long time. :-) I was glad that she's close enough to our family not to mind all the clutter that we had to work in, lol!

Monday, January 26, 2009

09 birthday card

This is the card I made my husband this year. His birthday was Friday, but we still haven't celebrated it ... finding a day when at least two or three of the children are around is complex!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Birthday card

Hmmm...I scan all birthday cards and save them to a friends and family file. I don't want to use the same stamps twice in a row for the same person, or do a similar design, etc. Before making my husband's card, I went through my files ... and this is the last card I have on file ... from 2006! Well, at least it told me not to do a palm tree again! :-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

simple redo

This card was one of my first cards when I began cardmaking three or four years ago. Embarrassingly simple, but as I've shared before, I hated art almost my entire life, so I had not even the slightest skill or knowledge to pull from. I don't think the blog concept was around yet, and I did not have money for magazines. I did have a couple of friends with photo albums, Dini and Jacki, and since they were way beyond what I was capable of, it was almost discouraging to look at their cards!

I have what I call a "reject" box of cards like this that need to be altered or tossed, and once in a great while I manage to persuade myself to pull one out and make something better. The other day I wanted to make a card in just ten minutes before playing speed scrabble with my son, Tuesday was not going to allow any cardmaking time, so I decided I had the perfect incentive to remake an old card. Happily, I succeeded (I'm a REALLY slow card maker!) It's not much nicer; I thought the colors would look well for a "guy" card, so I didn't want to do much to it. I'm satisfied with how it turned out.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Some months back I started pulling out cards that I really did not like, but didn't really want to keep working on. This is one of them. Opalite never scans or photographs really well, but frankly, this card didn't look any better than the photo. The butterfly was the worst part; I had used pearlescent powders, which normally have a nice sheen, but somehow failed to here.

I ended up keeping only background. I embossed the background image a few more times on mica cardstocks, and punched out the butterflies from it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Oh, the possibilities!

I've been wondering what to do with this little book for quite some time. I've researched it several times, but have not found it anywhere online. It's two stories in one book: Bessie's Visit and All the Greys. It's hard to tell by looking at it, but there has to be a page missing as there are no names for the author or illustrator (there are some darling little sketches that would make wonderful vintage stamps!) The copyright is 1880 - old enough for me to be able to use the little picture, so I have been cleaning up the scan, and may make a card with it. The gold cover is also intriguing; it would make a unique journal, but I can't bear to tamper with it. Hmmmm....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

smARTworks challenge

This week's smARTworks challenge was just to make something with glitter. Glitter? I never use glitter! Wait, I did get a free set of pink ultrafine glitters a few years ago with an order, and I never opened it. Hmmm...okay, I'll try it.

Well, I'm happy with the final result, but it may be a looooong time before I use it again. Whether it's the age of my heat and stick powder (two or three years?), the glitter, or not enough wetness in my pigment inks, I had difficulty getting the glitter to stay. I also had forgotten how messy glitter is ... I used three different shades of pink glitter, trying to find the one that would make the nicest contrast with the three inks I was using. So, glitter everywhere! :-)

Just as I finished the ferns (attempt #7!), and had put embossing powder on the dragonflies, my heat gun died! I'd had it for many years, had used it to strip our porch and an old door, not to mention countless embossing projects, so it had lived a full life! I have an old cheapie heatgun which is barely alive (quite using it when smoke was pouring out of it, but saved it for emergency use), so I managed to complete the embossing of the dragonflies. However, the gun heats so slowly, that by the time silver embossing powder has been melted, it has flattened into the cardstock. So, the images are a bit blurred. It actually worked better that way; I wanted to add just a bit of color to the wings, and this made the color more subtle.

I love how the glitter looks! I was really surprised, perhaps, as I discovered when photographing the card, that's because I've only seen online cards with glitter, and photos just don't do glitter justice. Also, what looks light white ferns really is a light pink; it was too subtle for the camera to pick it up.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

SALT challenge

I love the biweekly Salt Faith Challenge; it's great getting to focus on scripture and aspects of the Christian life. This time the focus is on self-discipline. Definitely this is a major struggle area of my life. I'm going to keep this one, and place it where I'll see it each day. (And besides, wouldn't it be really tacky to actually send this to someone??? "Dear _____, I thought of you when I made this card." Great relationship building, lol!)

By the way, they've put out the call for new designers at Salt, so if that interests you, be sure to visit the site!

Card details: the flowers were stamped with opalite inks; if you haven't noticed already, I love working with these! It's hard to get a good scan or photo with them, but they really look great. They are iridescent; the background of this card illustrates that well ... you can only see the ink on the tan when the card is tilted just right, and not very well.

Text is computer generated.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dini's birthday challenge #5

I cannot believe how much easier it is to work - both cardmaking and housekeeping - with everyone gone! Wow!

Anyway, Dini's challenge for today was to case a card from the gallery at Our Daily Bread. I have to tell you, this is an absolutely awesome gallery! Even though ODB does not (yet!) have a large offering of stamps, the designers are amazingly creative. I plan to visit frequently. I chose a simple card, in part because of my own limitations in card making, and in part, because as I've said in earlier posts this month, I have a ton of organizing & catching up to do, both in my stamp room and the home in general. I chose this card to case, and was pleased with the result. I chose it because I liked the color combination, however, I didn't have quite the right tan/beige background paper, and when I discovered the more olive colored paper that I used, it blended so perfecty (and surprisingly!) with the light teal I had, I stopped looking! I don't own flowers in the right color, so I used my cuttlebug and added texture to the cardstock.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dini's birthday challenge #4

This time, Dini's challenge was "encourage one another's hearts and souls." There was added incentive to make it purple. :-)

I hadn't plan on doing the challenge: I really need my Sundays! I learned at college that God really did give us the Sabbath for our benefit, not just to give us another rule! So I keep Sundays "stamp free" and I think the weekly break is really good! However, late last night I suddenly really wanted to make another card, and managed to get to the "nearly done" stage; I'll make a final decision for embellishing tomorrow morning.

I used alcohol inks for the background, and got a really nice purple shade. The photo looks more blue than purple, but my scanner can't handle embellishments, so I removed them to take a scan so that the true color could be seen. I hadn't permanently attached the flowers or the bows because I'm not sure whether I liked the flower centers, and I really want to find a better purple for the bows (which I will actually tie onto the silver cord, and make slightly smaller than the ones shown).

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dini's Birthday Challenge #3

I actually managed to finish this at a decent time! That's good - the kids want to do a bonfire ... how's that for crazy? It's snowing hard and only 20 degrees. I'll stay in with a good book, lol!

Anyway, Dini's third challenge is Splashes of Color, and I knew immediately what I wanted to do. When I first saw these images at smARTworks, I did not like them. At the time, I had been trying unsuccessfully to find ballet dancer stamps that were actually correct ... most stamp designers whose images I've looked at don't bother to actually study real ballet shoes and real ballet positions, so the images are wrong. Anyway, perhaps that was in part why I did not care for them. But somewhere along the line I decided I really, really enjoyed them. Hmmm... déjà vu ... I think I all that the last time I made something with these stamps! Anyway, along with the text, they seemed the perfect images for this challenge!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Dini's Birthday challenge #2

This challenge, obsessed with impressions was another fun one ... I stepped outside my "A2 Box" and made a 5"x7" card ... the peacock feather seemed just a little large to repeat on a smaller card!

I finished the card for Dini's challenge on time, but ugh, we're still dealing with the trojan horse. Our virus protection program caught it again, and instructed me to close down the computer ... just as I was about to post! I could have finished earlier, but my children challenged me to a game of super scrabble, a new game we just learned, and I can't resist it! Actually, I only have a couple of days before they leave for college, so I don't want to miss opportunities to do things with them!

It's challenging photographing cards that are embossed with metallic powders and colored with opalite inks, as this card is. I had made a peacock feather cover for a journal, and was very disappointed: the opalite/brilliance inks had dulled and flattened the silver embossing. It still looked nice in the right light, but if the light was not shining just right, it looked merely a dusty grey. I had dabbed the ink on for those. For this project, I made the black sample below just for experiment's sake before making the card, so that I could see if painting on the colors would work better. It meant I could not use the brilliance copper, as I had no reinker for it. I used Opalite crystal blush instead. The colors were just a slight bit muted because of painting, but the silver kept its depth and sheen. The picture doesn't quite show the difference as much as there really is, but hopefully, you can get the idea. (The second feather was done on blue cardstock, when I made the journal, so that's part of the reason the feather looks like it has more color.)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dini's "birthday party"

My friend Dini is hosting an awesome birthday bash! Thanks to my dh almost taking care of the virus (still not completely taken care of - I'm having problems with this post as I type, for that matter), I can participate in day one. Here is the contest:

Challenge: create a card from the supplies you have left out on your desk right now. If your desk is immaculate…go make a card, make a mess, and create your entry from scraps and bits of what you have left after your first card is done. If you need to grab a stamp or two out - that's ok.

I had so much fun with this! I needed to send a thank you card to a very close friend who moved away several years ago, who happened to call me this morning.

I had recently cleaned off my counter, but then I had cleaned off a shelf below,and picked up little bits of things that had fallen to the floor, and that was enough to create this card completely and totally from those things! I had just one printed background (it's wallpaper), one A2card (you can't tell from the photo, but it coordinates perfectly), and the "gracias" and friends quote were already stamped. It was so amazing to have almost nothing the counter, and yet it all coordinate so perfectly!!! Even the scraps of green and purple mulberry just happened to be there - and no other colored scraps of it! The green friends brad was the only brad well, and the dark green cardstock was one of only two large scraps! I only had purple cuttlebugged pieces! So perfect! My friend speaks some Spanish as do I, and we went on mission trip together, so that made sense for the thank you. The friends quote was perfect because we loved to go out to coffee together! Oh, and the only stamp was the music note ... and the elements all came together for the perfect card for a friend of mine. The snowflake may seem a bit odd, but my friend will understand! :-)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Well, in 16 years of internet use, we have never gotten a virus ... until now. It has completely taken over the computer now, and after three days of trying to get rid of it, we are coming to the conclusion that we'll have to send it out for repair. :-(

So ... since our laptop (rejected by the college our dd transferred to) cannot handle pictures being loaded onto it ... not that I've been able to do much stamping at all lately ... it looks like my blog is going to be pretty unexciting for awhile!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

Wow. I thought a few days would finish my room, but I didn't even get beyond organizing my stamps! I had to reorganize my binders, which turned into a huge job. I've purchased, won, or EZ mounted some formerly wood mounted stamps, and so in some cases I had to add new categories to my system, or move to a larger binder, etc. So, I really want to get back into card making, but my posting may be fairly sporadic for the next few weeks (I suppose it would be wiser to not do any stamping until I get everything completely organized, but that would be so sad, lol!)