Saturday, October 31, 2009

Gorgeous wallpaper!

I was asked to create an ordination card for a woman, and found this beautiful paper in a discontinued wallpaper sample book from Sherwin Williams that I got a few months ago. It's very difficult to photograph, and as time was an issue, I didn't get a chance to play around with the camera to get a better picture. I made this card with Pastor Appreciation month in mind, and it's a little better than the ordination card. The red you see is actually darker, and I think this card is going to be one of my favorites. I wonder what a room entirely wallpapered with this design would look like? Halway up the wall, with a dark red above it would make a really romantic bedroom.... :-)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pastor Appreciation

October is Pastor Appreciation month, and so I was hoping to get several cards into the two places in which I am selling cards.

This card was partially finished from a couple of years ago, and I was very glad to find something masculine looking to add to. Text is computer generated.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Evening at Sakawa Bridge

Detail stamps are always challenging, at least I find them so. I don't think that the manufacturing of them has quite been perfected, though they're still pretty amazing, and usually worth the bother of playing around with inks and cardstocks to find the combination that works. Definitely glossy is the best, followed by matt cardstock that is very smooth and not porous. But here again, there's no consistent way of being sure. An organized person keeps a record of what works best, but I am not organized, so each time I get a photo stamp, I have to play again!

Photo paper works for some techniques calling for glossy, but not very well for detail stamps. The cardstock on which I stamped this image came from a friend who is in a recycling business, so I have no clue where it came from. It has a sort of mulberry wood pattern on the other side, which I do not especially care for, but the back was the best cardstock I had (I was completely out of glossy).

To my great irritation, I don't know what ink I used! It was either Stazon black, or versafine. I wasn't happy with even this image. I was actually regretting the purchase until I finally persuaded myself to attempt to color it, after Cheryl at OnyxXpressions linked me to a gallery sample. (I love company galleries!) I had first brayered using a Ranger Big&Juicy pad, which is all I had actually wanted to do in the first place. Then I used eye shadow applicators to add more color. Again, coloring is very intimidating to me, so this was scary, lol! When I finished, I still couldn't figure out what the "brown things" were (houses), so I googled the print from which the stamp came, and saw the lights in the windows. :-)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Japanese/Kanji Sympathy

When purchasing foreign language stamps, I tried to avoid text stamps, as with a limited budget, I wanted to focus on images, which I cannot create, rather than text, which can be generated by computer. But I loved the translation of this stamp:

"We share the grieving of the heart."

The colors are rather off, the gray is actually a medium brown and the ribbon does not clash horribly as it appears to in this picture. It is however, not quite the right shade. Lesson learned: when using various shades of a color, wait until daylight to check for compatibility!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Chinese: I love you

I felt this card was going to be just too simple, then I found this butterfly that I had made for another card and not needed. I meant to re-photgraph this card before placing it in the store, but forgot to do so. The true colors are not so orange-y, and blend very well together.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hunan .... what is it?

I found this amazing stamp at Onyx Expressions, but I don't know what it is, nor does my friend from Taiwan! It might be a tree, it might be a fungus. I did tons of searching on the net, to no avail. If you know the answer, please tell me!

I used foil flakes, and the result was so perfect, although I tried, I just could not think of anything else to add to it. :-)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chinese "praying for you"

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with this image. Then I came across two squares I had brushed twinkling H20's on a couple of years ago (as a background for another card). I wasn't sure if the image would be distinguishable with the vibrant colors behind it, so I used heat embossing. I left one card without text as I still haven't found a translator for the other Asian languages I need, so I am including wordless cards that several cultures can appreciate.

I still haven't found a good photo editing program, so it's difficult to see that I used the Cuttlebug branches die on the black panel. The white flower is made from the same soft, textured paper as the background. I punched it, then ran it through the cuttlebug with the mini-dot pattern from the butterfly die/folder set. The folder design was not quite large enough, so I used a stylus to create the missing dots. I then ran it through the cuttlebug underneath the folder to slightly flatten the dots (a technique I am using often when I am looking for subtle effect, rather than a deeper embossed look). I then trimmed each petal tip so that they resembled the Chinese floral images I have seen. I also cut about a quarter inch into the flower, and slightly bent the petals inward.

Friday, October 16, 2009

...from the infirmary...

My daughters and I are all sick ... my middle daughter got sick while at college, so it's not even with the same sickness. I had been sick the week before, so getting something this soon after that has really knocked me out. So, while I managed a few blog posts, I haven't finished any cards in a couple of weeks, so I'm just letting myself off the hook for a few days. Monday my mother wants to come visit for a day or two, so I've got a house to clean between now and then as well....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chinese Thinking of You

Thanks to my friend Benjamin, I was able to get some basic Chinese texts for cardmaking. It is so intriguing to think in terms of symbols instead of letters. It's making me want to actually learn the language, but seeing as I've been trying to get disciplined in Spanish studies for years, with a definite use for it, I know it will never happen!

I'm trying to do some lightweight, embellishment-free cards for cheaper overseas mailing, that's why this card is so basic. The background paper is very quilt-like in texture, so it's still a nice card.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Asian robe cards

I am making foreign language/culture cards for a local Christian college. It's been a very complicated endeavor. Translation is one challenge. I want to be sure of having the precisely right words, and translation sites can't be relied on for that.

Asian cards have been a particular challenge. For instance, Japanese has four "levels" of thank you, from informal to very formal. An elegant card with the most informal thank you would not work.Then there are culture or religious issues; certain symbols that just look like cool designs might actually have major significance. For example, a Chinese symbol that I really liked turned out to be the source of the Nazi swastika! I used to get frustrated with stamps that were labeled "Asian," instead of Chinese or Japanese. I finally learned that the reason for that was that certain symbols are shared by the two languages! I believe the term for those symbols is "Kanji."

Swahili has been another challenge; there are very few resources for it, and often the translations are not well explained. For instance, when I tried to find out how to say "happy birthday," I came up with a one word term, and a four word phrase! I finally learned that there evidently is no term for "Happy Birthday," so these were two congratulatory terms to substitute!

I also had difficulty finding stamp companies that sold Asian stamps. I had almost given up when I happened to look at the website Onyx Expressions for a different reason, and discovered they had a large number of Asian stamps, primarily Japanese. Shortly thereafter, I stumbled upon Stonehouse Stamps, which had very large number of Asian stamps, again, primarily Japanese. However, they had one sheet of Chinese stamps, and it is from those stamps that these cards were made. Although I occasionally set out to copy a card, by the time I finish I've come up with something entirely new. However, these cards really are very little changed from the samples I found here on the website.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall Birthday

This was a fun and easy card to make. I already had the happy birthday on the alchol ink backround, and I had a panel, probably made at the same time, with the same colors applied, so I punched the leaves from that. It wasn't until I edited the photo that I realized the vellum oval was marred. I'm guessing the reason I kept it was that I planned to make a frame to cover the flawed part. Hmmm...not to late to add that...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Last fall re-do

One last fall card that I re-did to eliminate the need for a paper liner inside the card. The dark green card was cut down an affixed to a goldenrod card.

The leaves were done by embossing with sticky embossing powder, then applying mica powders.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thank you re-do

Another card that needed to be redone. I still kept it simple, just trimmed the red card to a panel and attached to a flax laid card to coordinated with the bronze laid cardstock. The photograph makes the apple look less red than it really appears, lighting tends to do that with stamped images on textured cardstocks.

I love the laid cardstocks. The picture does not do them justice. If you're looking for some nicely textured cardstock like this, I find it at California Paper goods. The bronze laid is no longer sold by itself at CPG, but as one side of a duplex line of papers; the flax laid is still available.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Autumn Wedding

Another re-do card; the rust panel was the actual card, which I cut down and remounted on gold parchment. Although a very basic, simple card, it was perfect for a wedding I went to recently with a very down-to-earth bride and bridegroom. Problem: I forgot to actually leave the card, and it's still sitting in my purse three weeks later....

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fall Thank Yous

I made these when I made the birthday cards I posted a couple of days ago. As with those, the leaves are made with cuttlebug dies on glossy cardstock with the alcohol ink technique.