Monday, July 30, 2012

Sympathy Card

I needed a masculine sympathy card in a hurry, and this layout was answer. :-)  I don't usually put embellishments on cards for a guy, but I needed something else, and the buttons just seemed right.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Piano thanks

I have a "not yet posted" file  that has cards I haven't gotten around to posting, but when I started college two years ago, I did almost nothing on the blog.  I knew some of the "not yet posted" cards actually had been posted, but not until now have I been willing to go through my blog to see which ones still had not been posted.  

This is a design I made a set of for a friend of ours, Benjamin, who is an absolutely marvelous composer.  I stamped the piano first, masked it, then stamped the music score.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Praying without words

I'm posting today from Eureka, with a card I am sharing also on Stamping Sisters in Christ.  I hadn't thought I would have time to make a card this weekend as we were planning to do a bonfire last night with a bunch of friends, so I expected to be catching up on everything else today I hadn't done while preparing for it.  However, a friend mentioned to me that  our town has a burn ban right now, so, no bonfire.  We had a surprise visit from our daugther and two friends, however, so it was still a wonderful night!

The Stamping Sister's in Christ challenge was simply to add some sparkle.  So I decided to get out my glitter -- something I have done maybe three times in ten years, lol, I'm not much of a glitter fan!  But I had fun with this card ... especially when I realized that two of the glitter sheets I owned - and have not used at all in the five or more years I have owned them -- were perfect matches for the glitters I had already chosen before remembering the glitter sheets existed!   I found it while looking for background paper, where I also unexpectedly found the cool copper material (not exactly cardstock, but not orinary paper).  All in all, I was satisfied with my simple card.

The first card I made with glitter was a waste; the glitter clung to the embossed image of clear on black, which is what my first desire was for the image.  I then tried the copper, and after embossing, decided to let it sit for a much longer time than I had the clear.  The very time I embossed, I had done clear embossing with black powder, and decided to see if gel pens would give the glitter look I sought.   It didn't, but I liked it, and while the copper cooled, I finished the second card.  My photographing job does not show the beautiful emerald green of the unique, foil-like background paper, and the glitter pens worked much nicer than you see here.  Still, I wanted to include it just because it's a very different look than the other card, despite the near identical layouts.

When I went to Houghton College in the early eighties, I had a friend who would let me sit behind his piano in one of the music rooms.   He was a composition major, and wrote absolutely beautiful piano pieces.  When he played, despite the fact that he was not singing, the music clearly was centered on the Lord, and I worshipped as I listened.  So although texts like the one of this stamps can sometimes seem trite, I find truth in it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

His Plans...

Jeremiah 29:11 is a favorite verse of many, though one that is not often read in context.
Stampin' Sisters in Christ is a blog I had heard of some time back, but never had time to really “explore.” A link from one blog to another led to my happy rediscovery of it this week. It really caught my attention because of the theme of their weekly challenge, Jeremiah 29:11. Our church is on rotation with other churches for Sunday services at the local jail, and a few weeks it was my turn to share with the women. I must have said something about God’s plans for us, and a young woman burst out in anger, “I used to go to church, but they were always talking about God’s plan for my life and I just don’t get that! I’m here in jail and I sure don’t see God’s plan in this!” Most people when they think of this verse see it as a promise to each of us individually that God has happy, wonderful things in store for us right around the corner. But it’s always important to read the Word in its original context. Jesus tells us he came to give us abundant life, and Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:10 that “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” so it’s not necessarily wrong to use Jeremiah 29:11 this way, but for people like my young friend in jail (who was released, then did something else to land her back there, possibly for a serious amount of time), it can be a source of great distress and bitterness. 
If we look at the context of the verse, we see that God was not speaking to individuals, but to the captive people of Judah. The people of God had sinned themselves into exile, had been banished from their beloved Jerusalem, and were living under Babylonian rule. The pronouncement of Jeremiah 29:11 is that “when seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place (Jeremiah 29:10). Seventy years! For those that were old enough to comprehend this message, they were essentially being told that after nearly all of them had died, then they would they realize that future and hope! Furthermore, God tells them that while they are in captivity, they are to make a good life for themselves! They are to marry, have children, build houses, and be at peace in their captivity! And while in that state, they are even to pray for the prosperity of the very city holding them captive! Wow … a very different concept than the one we are led to consider when reading this verse apart from its original setting and purpose! Is it not equally inspiring to read this in context? Earth is not the Christian’s true home, but we are called to engage with the culture, praying for those who make life difficult for us, with the confidence that one day, God will lead us home!
Stamp is from Biblical Impressions, found in both the "verses" section, which I used for this card, and as a bookmark stamp as well.  It also is available from Eureka.  In fact, for some reason, when I mentally composed this card a few days ago, it was the Eureka stamp I envisioned, which to my surprise I do not even own, so I had to refigure it for this challenge.  So, having not had a chance to create until this afternoon,  I made a much simpler card than I had anticipated, lol!  I usually conceal the prongs of the brads under layers of cardstock, but I did not do that for this card, wanting to be able to remove the flower embellishment if this ends up being sent to a male recipient.  :-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Baby Carriage

I'm posting a card from Biblical Impressions today!  I have a bunch of babycards from when I used to sell cards, but all I have left are boy blue or girl pink cards. I forgot about this, until I went to grab a card from my stash for a baby shower last week. The couple has decided not to discover the baby's gender in advance. So, off to work I went!

Details: I stamped the small carriage image from Biblical Impressions four times (there is a larger size as well). I cut out the wheels from one set, colored the rims with black pencil, then used my versamark pen for the wheel hubs, and embossed in silver. I cut out the carriage body, sans wheels and the portion of the ribbon that is off the carriage, and colored teh blanket and lace. Then I cut the carriage out again, this time also eliminating the lace and the blanket. This step could be skipped, but I wanted the extra layer. I used a slightly textured cardstock for the ribbon to give it a more fabric-like look. I assembled the pieces, and attached to the circle. The Psalm127:3 scripture was simply stamped with black.

In all honesty, this was a very time consuming card ... not because the card itself was that difficult, but I just kept smearing black ink or pencil on the white suraces!  I forgot my habit of keeping a wet baby wipe on hand to keep rubbing my fingers on while working with color on white!  Additionally, the spellbinder die was a nightmare to work with. Note to self: anytime purchasing a new set, I need to immediatley test all dies while I still have the return receipt! I used another die in the set a couple of months ago with no problem, but this one ... wow!  Kristie just gave me a tip on this: use waxed paper between the die and the paper and it will come out a lot easier. I will try this next time.  However, just to give you ideas in case this doesn't work, I'll still post the pictures I took of what I did:

As you see, three corners were torn off in the effort to extract the piece.

After that one, I thought I would try again, this time with some very strong cardstock I have. The results were just slightly better.  I cut it down to this, I thought I'd show it as it looked before weaving the ribbon through:

I went back to the first one, to show you two other possibilities I could have done.  I decided it looked a bit weird, so I trimmed it down more, but for a different style card, it might have worked (notice I trimmed the little side nobs on one end):

Monday, July 9, 2012

Butterflies and trellises!

Welcome to Eureka's July bloghop!  We have a brand new design team with lots of talented ladies!  You should have arrived here from Sarah V's blog; if not, and you'd like to go through the hop from the beginning, then head over to QKR Stampede!

I purchased a new punch last week, and decided to have fun stamping on the punch-out itself.  I thought if I stamped my design on the trellis itself, it would be an amazing effect.   I'll be honest, it didn't work quite the way I hoped, but it was a lot of fun, and I have a good idea now of what works and what does not.   I spent all day playing with the ideas, and I've decided I might as well share what didn't work as well as what did, so perhaps someone will spend more time being successful.  I hope if you do come up with some ideas, you'll share them with me!

One reason that I picked the butterfly background stamp is that it is one of my favorites, and it was a pert I wanted to find a way to use it without having to spend a lot of time coloring (though as you'll see, I did color a couple of panels).  I am much more of a crafter than an artist, so coloring is not my strong point.  In fact, it was very rare when my children were little that I could bring myself to color with them ... I think the trauma of being the last kid in elementary school to be able to color inside the lines has never quite left me!  :-)  Anyway, between my permanent setting on "slow" for cardmaking, and near-paralysis in choosing what colors to use, I liked the idea of a quicker card with the image! 

It's pretty obvious in looking at the first two cards how they were created.  I'll just add that when punching the image, be sure to have trimmed off about 3/16ths of an inch of the image before punching, unless you want it flush with the edge of the card.  If you are a little shaky as I am with my hands,  you might want to use temporary bond glue when matching the punched trellis to the panel (and I did not trim the ends separately; I trimmed the whole thing together after attaching).  I then gently lifted the edges to add a more permanent bond. 

For the purple card, I traced the edge of the trellis onto the vellum, then trimmed it.  For the second card, I overlapped the blessings text to make it pop out a little more, and pull it all together.  In this card, the raised look of the trellis, which doesn't really show in this photo, is really nice.

The third card is a single panel like the other two cards; I cut one inch strips of vellum and glued them to the back of the trellises before attaching to the panel.  My new punch is flawed, and will not cut the strips straight, but happily, using white on white, it does not show.  I thought of this idea last minute, and with only an hour before sunset to take the picture for this hop, I have it only temporarily bonded here, and promptly disassembled after taking the photo so the glue can set better.  This is always important to do with a card, but especially when working with vellum.  We'll see what I really end up doing with it after the glued panels have cured!

The pictures down below are from my playing around with various ideas.  At first, I didn't think stamped on trellises looked good uncolored, so I started coloring them.  I didn't finish coloring, though, as I suddenly realized my punch was crooked, and I would not have been able to use these particular trellises, but I still thought it might be beneficial to  see how well combinations of cardstock colors, colored trellises, backgrounds, etc, could look.  It was funny after all my efforts with the trellises, that what looks best, at least to me, is just a plain old trellis over the design!  What do you think?

1. With the blank background, it's not easy to recognize the butterflies.   It's a little  hard to tell here, but the design is actually more discernable where the butterflies are not colored!

 2.  Here I just layed a colored trellis over the colored panel.  Although the two were colored differently, it gives you a sense of how it would look.  (Too busy/redundant, I would not make a card with this.  I tried (did not take a picture) putting vellum underneath, but it was equally unimpressive).

3. This is colored trellis over b/w panel.  Best by far, but not enough to make me want to finish a card with this option.

4.   The butterfly pattern is much more discernible this way when placed on a color; the darker the color, the more it stands out.  If I liked coloring more, I'd redo the trellises and make a card.


5.  And here we have the plain trellis ... much less bother (er, except for the lengthy coloring time!) and much classier!  :-)

Thanks for stopping! Now hop on over to Suzee's place to see what she has done!

Monday, July 2, 2012

July 4th

Wow, July 4th just two days away?

Is America a Christian Nation? Was it ever? I don't believe the majority of the founding fathers saw it that way. What they did see was the need for a nation in which one could worship as one wished, and Christian principles were used in much of the decision making. Or perhaps a better way to phrase it is that the Christian principles by which most of the founding fathers lived by strongly influenced their thinking. To be sure, many were deists, but the Patrick Henry quote indicates that many were dedicated Christian believers.

After stamping the flag background, I filled in the lines with H20 watercolors.  I actually did this part a couple of years ago, but didn't really like the effect.  But when I looked at it this week, I decided that it would work well as a background for the text.  I stamped on vellum with blue Stazon, and after gluing and burnishing, placed it under weights for about 48 hours to make sure I would not see the vellum curl up on itself down the road.