Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sending You Birthday Wishes

This card is a CASE of one by Debby Hughes. She's the queen of Clean and Simple, and her card was stunning I thought.

My take followed her's fairly closely in general design, but as you can see, it's a bit heavier (okay, a lot heavier!) and I added a monochromatic mat to the top layer that adds additional weight to the design. Not that heavier is what I had in mind, but just the way it turned out. Of course, big thighs run in the family, so I suppose it's not surprising, but I digress.

I didn't have the same woodgrain stamp she used, so I cut out a circle from a scrap piece of paper, and stamped a textued design through it to make the backdrop for the leaf.  I thought the leaf was a bit dead looking, so I added texture to it, but on reflection, another texture may have been better--this poor leaf looks like it has a fungus!  The button copies Debbie's idea.  By the way, the color of the leaf, the texture circle, and the background mat is Iced Spruce distress ink, one of the winter special colors for this year. I simply colored white card stock via DTP, and cut out the leaf and mat as needed.  The leaf was swiped with Canvas ink.  It's a shame the I wasn't able to capture the color better. It's really a beautiful gray green.

CAS is harder than it looks, and anyone who can do it well is, in my mind, a creative genius.  It's so easy to add to much, get heavy handed, and otherwise just over do it. But I love the style when it's done right, so I'll keep practicing. And in the meantime, I'll keep drooling over Debbie's work and CASEing her like crazy!

So, do you have a mentor who's style you'd like to emmulate? I'd love to hear about it--so leave a comment and a link if you can.  See you soon!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Always on My Mind

I've had this stamp for ages, and although I love it, I've never been able to figure out a way to use it. I decided to try to remedy that today with this card.

The stamp, by Magenta, is a block of four images. Each little image is quite detailed, almost like a photograph. That made me think of the old black and white photos we had when I was a girl that were touched up here and there with color. Hmmm, that gave me an idea!

I started by stamping in Smokey Shadow then colored selected pieces of each image with Copics. Then I trimmed out each image and mounted them on black card stock.  I embossed a piece of white card stock with Wood Grain embossing folder (Tim Holtz, I think), and adhered the images to it, then to the card base.

The sentiment was a bit harder.  I didn't have anything that seemed appropriate. Finally, I decided to selectively ink various words and phrases from several sentiments to make this one, cut it into a banner shape, and matted it with black too.

Very simple, but I thought it was a bit nostalgic and evocative.  I think this will make a good card for Operation Write Home. I bet there's a lot of soldiers who can identify with the sentiment.

So, do you remember the touched up photos from yesteryear? They were kind of cool, actually. I wonder if anyone still does that?  Goodness, I've been on a nostalgic roll lately.  Time to get with it.  Okay, deep breath, straighten shoulders, forward, MARCH!  Yeah, that's more like it!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Love You

It's snowing and cold today--perfect weather to get inky, don't you think?

Time seems to be flying by, and I realized today I'd better get busy making a few Valentines before the day was upon me. Here's my first attempt, using PaperTrey's Wonderful Words dies, and A Year in Flowers rose image.

I stamped the rose image on the background in Angel Pink, then stamped it again on a scrap, colored it with my new Bic ultra fine markers and trimmed it out.  The little tag is from PaperTrey, as is the "4 Ever" sentiment.  The I Love is a stamp from the Wonderful Words companion stamp, and the You is from the die for that set. A couple of gems, a bit of dotted designer paper, and a touch of glitter (I mean, it IS a Valentine, for Pete's sake!) and another card is ready for the stash.

How about you? Make any Valentines yet? Do you prefer "girly" creations, or do you make more whimsical cards?  I've seen a few this year on various blogs that I think I'm going to give a shot. They're much more sophisticated with a cleaner and simpler, more contemporary vibe. I really like that look, but somehow it's hard for me to pull off. I guess I'm just an old fashioned romantic (or a heavy handed klutz).  And I can never resist having a chance to add a bit of glitter.  Sigh.  Oh well, I suppose the world can still use a bit of romance even if it is only one day a year.

I do like the die cut you, though.  And the Bic markers worked remarkably well and blended smoothly. Might be a good alternative for those who don't want to make the big invest with Copics.  (By the way, you can use Copics with these, and the Copic Blender Pen works with Bics, too.  Love that!)

If you've made any Valentines, I'd hear about your style and would  love to see what you've done. Leave me a link in the comments so I can check them out.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

There's no place like home

Gosh, it's hard to come back after all that's been happening recently, but I'm glad to be here and look forward to a better new year. 

First, let me say thanks for the many prayers that have been directed our way recently. My dear mother-in-law passed away just before Christmas as some of you know, and we've been in a bit of a fog ever since. Then I had a flare up of an old health issue and ended up in the hospital for a couple of days. To add insult to injury (so to speak) we also lost one of our furry friends during this period--a sweet kitty named Biesmeyer who'd been with us for 17 years.  Not the best way to start a new year, but I figure it can only go up from here, right? Anyway, we're starting to turn the corner and life is slowly beginning to come back into focus.

I had a chance to get back to my craft room and actually do something today.  It felt good--real good. I look forward to spending more time there. I'm convinced it's good for the soul.

Anyway, here's the end result of my efforts today. 

This stamp is an old one by Stampendous. It always reminded me of Italy, and that's where Mom was born. Anyway, I was thinking of her when I made this and it's comforting to me to know she really is home now. 

After stamping the image, I colored it with colored pencils, and adhered it to a piece of paper I'd stamped with test and inked.  I then matted it with black and adhered it to a terracotta panel I'd embossed with a distressed lines folder.  The sentiment was stamped on a double ended banner die cut, and that too was inked and matted in black. A bit of knotted black checked ribbon and a few black pearls finished the panel, and the whole lot was adhered to a black card base.

It's starting to snow and the lighting is really horrible, so it was difficult trying to get a decent photo. But in real life it's a rather handsome piece, and I think Mom would have approved. 

Hope to be back more regularly very soon. In the meantime, take care of yourselves and don't wait until later to tell someone you love them. The only moment you can be sure of is right now.