Sunday, November 19, 2017

Giving Thanks, Part 1

By lovely coincidence, Karen's Card Shop is running low on thank-you cards, so this Thanksgiving week, I'll be sharing a bunch of thank-you cards I've made for the shop. There's quite a variety of looks to this particular batch of creativity.

Today's card looks very wintery and uses one of my favorite color combinations: gray and red.



The trees come from Papertrey's classic set Through the Trees. The stamp has three trees (the three on the right of the card). My panel needed an extra tree, so I stamped the far right one again on the left. The two red birds are looking at each other and form a visual triangle of red with the sentiment.

The matting is simple white-on-white.

I hope all the Americans reading my blog are happily gearing up for Thanksgiving on Thursday. We are having a low-key but festive day ourselves.

Blessings to all of you, and I encourage those who live in countries that don't have formal thanksgiving celebrations to take this week to think of things you are grateful for and thank whatever greater power you believe in for your blessings. There is always, always, always something to be grateful for.

Feel free to share what you're grateful for today in the comments. Today, I am grateful for my church family and the warm community in Christ we have!

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and gratitude,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Papertrey Through the Trees, Keep It Simple Birthday III
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Hero Arts soft granite, Archival red geranium
accessories: none

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Bigger Words, Words, Words

Yesterday's card showcased small words cut out and matted. Today's card features larger words cut out and popped up with dimensionals. The look is (surprise!) completely different.




Several differences between the two cards dictate the change in word's size and poppage. The focal point is visually heavy, dense, and colorful. The holly and branches and giant gingham bow are VERY different from the light and airy and glittery tree of yesterday's card. The words needed to balance that heavier focal point, and therefore had to be heavier (bigger). Popping them gave them some extra interest by creating shadows without cluttering up the design.



I hope those of you who were itchy about yesterday's card feel better about today's!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Hero Arts, Winnie and Walter
ink: various dye inks
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dimensionals, scissors, glue dot, gingham ribbon

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Words, Words, Words

I'm sure you all have seen the cards (primarily mixed media) that use cut-out words for their sentiments, such as this pretty example here. I've used this idea before and loved the effect, so I decided to try it again on a Christmas card.

Here's the final result:


Now, you'll notice that my words are matted. Without the mats, the words looked very floaty on the card, and this did not look good. I realized that on the mixed media cards, the cut-out words typically rest on a colorful background, which makes them stand out beautifully. My card had no colorful background against which to stand out, and colored mats (say, in red to match the Stickles or gray to match the tree) would have been distracting and busy for my style. The white-on-white gives the perfect little bit of visual weight to the words without distracting. At least, that is how it looks to me.

All the cutting was by hand with scissors, so there's a loose, imperfect feel to the words that matches the imperfections of the font, which I just love immoderately.


Here's the card all by itself. *happy little sigh*



Now, if all this white space and simplicity has you feeling itchy, just wait for tomorrow's card, which has a lot less white space and simplicity, but still showcases cut-out words.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Penny Black (tree), Tim Holtz (words from a large background stamp)
ink: Archival watering can, red geranium
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: Stickles, scissors, glue pen


Monday, November 13, 2017

A Happy Tree

What makes a tree happy?

Bling, of course!





The tree, an old wood-mounted stamp from Hero Arts, was stamped in Kaleidacolor Calypso ink and then blinged up with coordinating tiny rhinestones in light and dark orange, red, and purple.

Oh. My. Goodness.




This is a birthday card, but the sentiment is on the inside. I thought the tree, with its blingy fruit, fabulous bright colors, and sophisticated matting, needed no words. (Translation: I couldn't find a place to put a sentiment, so I moved it inside.)

Such a happy card!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Kaleidacolor Calypso
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Bold and Simple Birthday

After seeing a number of cards on Pinterest and in magazines with label-maker sentiments, I decided to see how simply I could use my own label-maker sentiment stamp set.

Turns out, you can go pretty simple with these handy sentiments!




The candle (from Papertrey's Polka Dot Parade #12) stands out in a bold blue pigment ink and grounds the strong, black sentiment. The sentiment strips are positioned to take advantage of the rule of thirds not only on the candle (across the line of one-third the way down) but also on the card.

Clean. Simple. Bold.




My favorite kind of card!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Papertrey Polka Dot Parade #12, MFT Label Maker Sentiments
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Impress Fresh Ink turquoise, harvest; Archival black
accessories: dimensionals



Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cooper Update

It's been too long since I shared pictures of Cooper, so here you go. He's closing in on 35 pounds now and is four months old. He's starting to look like a gangly adolescent!

Such a handsome face!

He and Daisy would rather be playing than
practicing sit and stay. The photo angle makes
Cooper look bigger than he is, but he's growing fast!

On his way to the vet, buckled in with
a safety harness.

Alert puppy wants a treat!

Cooper is a good dog. He's mostly non-destructive...certainly better behaved than any of our three previous dogs. He's mellow most of the time (I suspect he's lazy) and loves sleeping on the ottoman, which we are considering renaming the cooperman.

We did have to buy a maze bowl to slow down his chowing down. The speed with which he ate was mildly alarming.

We're enjoying our growing bundle of furry love very much!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Inspired by Yana

Yana Smakula has a fabulous blog and makes fabulously designed cards that are delightful sources of clean-and-simple inspiration.

I found this card on Pinterest and just had to make my own version of it.


Pinterest Source and Yana's Blog Post

Yana's color combination is fabulous with her tropical foliage stamps...so pretty! I love how the leaves and ferns poke out from under the sentiment panel. It's a fabulous design, so I went to my stamps to see what I had that might create a similar effect.

I grabbed Papertrey's Gathered Garden and went to work.



To get the placement right for my plants, I placed the birthday panel down on the blank card base and  drew light pencil marks at the corners. Occasionally, while stamping, I'd lay the birthday panel on the card and see how it was looking. That helped a lot. And I actually remembered to erase the pencil marks before attaching the panel to the base, so yay, me!

Note that the stamps I used are lighter and airier than the bolder images of Yana's card, which changes the design a bit. As a result, the tropical feel of Yana's card is replaced with more of an English garden feel. Most of the colors are the same as Yana's, but I added a brighter blue to give more weight to some of the images. I think my tweak in color adds more energy...which was needed for the lighter stamps.

I'd planned on adding bling as an echo of Yana's Nuvo drops, but my lighter images looked quite busy enough without bling, so I left it alone. I'm glad I did.

The sentiment works so well with the images. Love, love, love when that happens.

Many, many thanks to Yana for giving me such a beautiful source of inspiration!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Papertrey
ink: various dye inks
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: craft foam, glue, scallop scissors