Friday, February 27, 2009

"accidental" tulip card

I am so happy with this card! I had painted the image some time ago, but, as you see, I messed up a little with the paint (twinkling H20's, which sadly, may no longer be getting manufactured). I didn't throw it out, nor did I put it away. It got mixed up with other things, and when I rediscovered it yesterday, it had a number of splatters of something on it. But I noticed almost all of it was on one side, and figured the ones on the other side could be covered by an embellishment. So, I cut off the worst half of the panel. As I played with backgrounds, the one purple that really looked "right" was one which I am nearly out of. Hmmmm...hate to waste the cardstock on a card I might not be able to use. One of the two remaining pieces had an oval cut out of it, but I had saved it to be used for a layered card in which only the edges would show. Problem: with the vellum I had chosen, the cut out oval would show through. But, as you see on the card, the oval was just the right size, cut out at just the perfect spot to be the center of that layer on the card! It was so amazing, like it was meant for this! Finally, the blotches that were visible were easily covered by ribbon.

I love the obvious parallels here. Simply put, even with our flaws, God still uses us! In fact, sometimes what we would cast away as useless in our lives, He makes something far better with than we would have.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Be Still...

Some scriptures are quoted so often, we forget just how profound they are, or fail to really attend to what they tell us to do. But when I sold cards in a gift shop, just about any card, regardless of style, sold if it had this scripture in it. It seems that we are very grateful for that reminder that God is in control, and we can rest in that!

Once again, this is a card made from a group of panels I made a few months ago. The scripture text was also from my stash of unused stamped images. It's been an incredibly busy week or two, so having a card come together easily is a blessing!

The green and blue are mica cardstock. Neither they nor the opalite inks show up very well in the scans. The mica cardstock has a bit of "glitz" to it, and the opalite inks are much more colorful than you see here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Music, music!

Okay, I just got carried away on this one ... no work of art here, just fun! Using one of the opalite backgrounds, this one with music notes, I cuttled with my music folder, then used my music note die cut! Then I remembered I had black ribbon with the same colors, so of course I had to use that! I knew as I assembled the card that it was a bit "much," but I'll find some victim for it, lol!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thank you card

I decided to post both the photo and the scan of this card, because the card is somewhere between the two. :-) The scan does a much better job showing the true colors and textures of the cardstock layers, including the cuttled paisley pattern, but the photo better shows the vividness of the card. I made a number of backgrounds on dark blue and black with opalite inks several months ago, but only made one card from them. I hope to use several more of these backgrounds over the next few days.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

thrift store find

I my husband repainted our daughters' bedroom for me (son started the job, but got overwhelmed. Lesson learned: work with a first time painter, instead of "abandoning him" to it!). We don't really have a budget for decorating, so I went to a place in town that sells used stuff (not really a thrift store, but there's got to be a nicer way to say "junk store"!) I'm doing sort of a Latino theme: bold, bright colors, and since I normally do jewel tones or earth tones, I have almost nothing. I made some "wall art" with my cuddlebug (I'll post that here eventually), but I need more.

Anyway, I didn't find anything for their room, but I did find this cute little thing. It looks to me like it was someone's portable sewing cupboard (note the handles at the top). It's about 2.5' high, maybe three feet when opened all the way. The stuff sticking out of the pockets was there when I found it. It wasn't marked, and so I brought it up to the front of the store. "Oh, eight bucks will be fine," I was told. I stood staring at it, trying to figure out if I'd actually use it ... my craft room is fairly packed, and I don't sew, so I wasn't sure what I'd do with the spool holders. My hesitation was taken as wanting to dicker, so after watching me a moment she offered to sell it for five dollars. Okay, sold! I figure if I can't make it work for my craft room, maybe my daughter who sews will want it, or I'll resell it at a garage sale this summer. :-)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Salt challenge: Discipleship

This is my take on this week's challenge at the Salt challenge blog I decided a card to express appreciation for someone who has taken seriously the Christian's call to disciple those whom God has placed in our lives for that purpose. Some discipling is deliberate; God gives us a burden to teach or minister to a specific individual. But our goal should also be to daily model Christ, being sensitive to the Holy Spirit in all we do, knowing that at any point in time, someone may be watching how we are dealing with the various situations we are walking in. I've been very aware lately of how I fail in this, focusing on my own selfish wants. I'm doing a little inner kicking and screaming over a ministry opportunity coming up ... even as I know that it's a priveledge to be given those opportunities. I'm so glad I serve a gracious God who loves me anyway, and will enable me to embrace, not just "get through" this situation. And I'm grateful for those in my life who have given of themselves to disciple me...

Friday, February 13, 2009

To sweet to eat!

We received some chocolates in the mail today from my sister-in-law and niece, with these beautiful, hand-painted wrappers! Aren't they gorgeous?!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Back up" Valentine!

This is a card I actually made a couple of years ago, when I made cards for a local store. I made more than one of these, and still have one that did not sell. I just can't seem to get inspired for Valentine's Day, so I decided to look through my older cards to see if any "grabbed" me. Knowing I have a card for my husband if I can't come up with a new design on time is a great relief ... and probably with the pressure off, I'll actually design a new one! :-)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

...Something blue

Every two weeks, smARTworks puts up a challenge on their website. This time it was a monochromatic challenge. I thought about several colors, but blue won out. I purchased a set of leaves well over a year ago (yes, you’re looking at an actual leaf, or I should say, a layer of a leaf), but I kept waiting for just the right card for one. I think I might of ended up waiting ten years to use any; it’s hard for me to use something I don’t plan to replace. In fact … I had all but forgotten I had them.

I used Cobalt Embossing Antiquities powder, from a line of embossing powders that have been discontinued for quite some time. I think the Tim Holtz powders are very similar.

I used a microsparkle blue for the upper part of the card, and although you cannot really see it in the photo, it really displays the veins of the leaf nicely. The Ruche crepe paper seems to mimic a leaf texture.

I haven’t actually attached the leaf yet … I planned to use a spray adhesive on the back of it, but decided I needed to find out if that is definitely the right thing to use for the leaf. I’ll post back here later when I’ve figured it out.

Edit: I asked my friends at Gingerwood, and they recommended just gluing the spine of the leaf down, so that's what I did. :-)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Last note card

This is the third notecard design I came up with. I never got completely satisfied ... I used Ranger Big and Juicy pads, and finding the right color was actually complicated ... Isome of the pads have had the colors run too much together, and so the original blend was lost. I also thought the colors were too dark for the "thank you" to show up well; I solved that problem by taking a scrap of paper the approximate size of the text, and rubbing it lightly onto the inked stamp. This took away some of the color, so I had a patch where the image was lighter, and stamped over that.

Friday, February 6, 2009

another simple thank you card.

The birthday card I posted the other day (originally designed as a thank you card) was from a set of three simple cards I was making, along with two other sets of three.

The cards were for my daughter's Chemistry professor, who has been absolutely wonderful for Susie. Susie is a high school senior, but she is a unique learner, and I homeschooled her very differently from her siblings. College did not seem to be part of the picture. So, the chemistry she took as a high school student was very basic; she did experiments, and some testing, but she did not complete the text. But she was very deteremined to take this course, even though there was an easier Chemistry class at another local college. (Houghton grading is tough: it takes a 94 average for an a "A", a minumum of 85% for a "B.") Her professor gave hours of her time helping Susannah outside of her class, well beyond what one would expect from a busy professor.

The college has a craft fair at Christmas, and this professor purchased a set of thank you cards from me. (All my card sets are really simple, unlayered cards, six in a package) She told Susie this semester (Susie is taking a second semester of Chemistry) that she wanted to purchase some more thank you cards from me, and so I happily decided to make some for her as a gift. Not knowing her tastes, I made three sets of three.

To my great disappointment, she insisted on paying ... it's considered unethical to receive gifts from students (possibility of being considered a bribe for good grades, etc). !!!! I truly understood that, but oh, what a disappointment! I'll have to think of some way around this ethically ...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Oh the colors, the textures!

On the rare occasion that I get to shop at a craft store - I'm 45 minutes from Joanne's, nearly two hours from anything else, I have a difficult time finding patterned paper. There are lots of collections, but often there are only a very few patterns I really like. I don't think I am overly picky, but the selections are not huge. And that's just patterns; a variety of textures is even more difficult to find. But fortunately, I can find a lot online. My favorite place for paper is California Paper Goods. I'm not affiliated with them in any way, but I really thought their selection was worth posting about. They have a line of imported papers that can be purchased by the sheet. The prices per sheet range from 20¢ to $2.99 per 8.5 x 11 sheet. (The more expensive ones are the Japanese Yuzen Washi paper - gorgeous printed papers!). One of my favorites is actually the 20¢ priced paper.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Simple cards: birthday

I am in the process of making some simple, no-layer thank you cards. Just as I was about to add the "thank you" to the card, I remembered that one of my husband's nieces has a birthday next week, and last I heard, her favorite color is orange. I switched to a birthday greeting and hurrah, the card might actually arrive early ... nearly a first, lol!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thank you in mauve

The background paper here has rather a grandiose name: Pearlescent Plume Blush. But, it deserves it! It's a surprisingly inexpensive but elegant and beautiful paper. It was very challenging to photograph, but hopefully you can get a good idea of the pattern and shimmer of the the paper.

The scrap of mulberry with the gold print came with a tiny paper sampler that comes with $25 orders. I keep those scraps of fancy papers in a little drawer, and it was just impulse to check it while making this card. Since I do not own any more of it, I checked with other colors of paper/cardstock to make sure this was where I wanted to use it. Surprisingly, the mulberry just looked "dirty" over all the other colors. But for whatever reason, perhaps the sheen of the paper, it shows just a hint of pink with this paper.