July 11, 2020

#dailycreating FEBRUARY 2020

Time for a selection of another month's decent drawings that I'd done as part of Terry Runyan's #dailycreating group. Members of the group receive the next week's daily prompts each Sunday afternoon. While the prompts are optional, I usually follow them as a good place to start creating.

This post will feature 13 drawings I did during February 2020. As always, I will include the prompt and any other pertinent information above each of the illustrations.

Here we go:
#dogurday
french bulldog

#amsterdam

#surprise

#valentinesday

#dogurday
vizsla

#thingonthing
ostrich

#pets

#makeagreetingcard
i know this isn't a greeting card, but since that's what i always do . . .
rhomborrhina unicolor

#nationalwildlifeday

#boating

#thingonthing

#donkey

#dogurday
basset hound

Although I've done it each time I post my drawings, I feel I must mention again the meaning of #dogurday. Our hostess, Terry Runyan, has designated each Saturday as #caturday or #dogurday. Often there is another prompt included besides. 

I hope you enjoyed this installment of #dailycreating. February must have been a fairly good month for me since I was able to come up with 13 drawings that I felt weren't "half bad". Just wait until the middle of March and onwards, once coronavirus came into our lives. My drawings have suffered terribly since then.

Please respect that these are my original artwork and are not to be used for anything without my express permission. If you would like to have a copy of any of my drawings, I will gladly have a giclee print made for you. Just let me know.

#dailycreating
Smiles.

July 7, 2020

MAGENTA MADNESS

This card was oodles of fun to make! And I have a lot to say about it.

The gorgeous flower that is my focal point is from a Paper Pumpkin kit of a few months ago. This flower has impressed me so much from day one, and I have used it several times.

My original intent for this card was to stamp the flower twice in order to recolor some of the petals to fussy cut and pop up over their components on the original flower. Once I got to coloring, I could see that the original flower had quite enough definition that to do some of the petals twice to pop them up seemed redundant.

I intentionally used some of our new In Colors in this project: Magenta Madness, Bumble Bee, Just Jade and Cinnamon Cider. I guess I actually used four of the five!


Initially I cut my piece of Flowers for Every Season Designer Series Paper (page 148, Annual Catalog) to 4" x 5 1/4", the normal size you'd cut to fit on a card base. While lovely, the paper was incredibly busy with the large flower trying to play against it. Thus I opted to cut it down considerably so the design in all the colors I used on my flower served as a wonderful complement, rather than overwhelming it.


Even though it's not a Stampin' Up! product -- in fact, it's some cheapo stuff that I picked up who knows where? -- I discovered in my stash some fibrous twine that matched the Magenta Madness quite well. So I looped a length of it to include underneath the panel with the flower. I love the little bit of texture and dimension it adds.


I already listed the Stampin' Blends I used to color my flower, leaves and berries. In addition, I used the Color Lifter to give the flower a bit more texture than just the Blends themselves. I love this added interest for very little effort.

What I'd like to point out about the following photo is the four extra little bits of foliage that I've added. The Forever Flourishing dies (page 175 in the Annual Catalog) has FOUR of these dies, so you can get four diecuts with one run through your die cutting machine! The crazy cool part of these leaves is that I cut them from the reverse side of the colorful DSP that is under the flower! Win win! I used up some of the scrappy strip I had left over from cutting from my 6" x 6" piece of DSP. 

The fussy cut flower is mounted onto a Whisper White piece cut with one of the Stitched Rectangles dies (page 183, Annual Catalog). This piece was then popped up with Dimensionals against the DSP.


I used my stamp positioner tool to do a good job of stamping the Thank You sentiment in Memento Tuxedo Black ink. This stamp is from a retired set (that I wish WASN'T retired!) called Calligraphy Essentials. Once I had it stamped, I colored it in with a Light Just Jade Stampin' Blend.

A bit of advice when coloring in such thin areas such as you find in this sentiment. Usually I automatically use the brush end of a Blend. However, experience has taught me that that isn't the best option for every occasion. For the really thin spots, use the bullet end of the Blend. You will be much happier!


After adding and coloring in the sentiment, I felt the card was lacking something. At this point, I really wished I'd made the card a bit shorter so the sentiment would have been incorporated into the overall design a little better. However, it was a little late for that. So I grabbed my Dark Magenta Madness Stampin' Blend and colored in a few Basic Rhinestones which I added to that portion of the card. I think that made all the difference.

When all is said and done, the card has a modest amount of dimension, what with the looped twine, the Stampin' Dimensionals and the rhinestones. Depending on who is working at your Post Office, it would probably require the extra postage. 


I'd love to know your opinion of the new In Colors. The only one I didn't include in this card is Misty Moonlight, a blue that I think is exquisite. Let us know what you think!


Flowery
Smiles.

July 4, 2020

FIREWORKS CARD

Since it's the Fourth of July, I wanted to share a card with you that has a background that really reminds me of fireworks -- somewhat -- as well as the hot temps we are experiencing.


A card such as this one is so incredibly easy to create. You could do multiples of it with ease, just a little mess, time and patience.. 

The problem -- or great part?? -- of doing this type of background is that you will never get two to look alike. There is just no way to tweak it to get a similar  -- or different -- look. You will simply be surprised at the outcome each and every time. I love the whimsy of this technique.


To create this type of background, I usually start with a quarter sheet (4 1/4" x 5 1/2") of Whisper White cardstock. You will be trimming it down to a size that works for your card design.

Choose two, or at most, three, colors to create the background. When choosing your colors, be sure they are colors that play well together, such as two shades of a primary color: red, yellow, blue. Since these are primary colors, they will always work well together because every other color stems from these three colors. If you introduce a secondary color, such as green (blue plus yellow, two primary colors, when combined, make green), you run the risk of your background becoming muddy. Unless that is your intention, be careful.

For my card, I incorporated shades of yellow and red. I used the Clear Block E, which measures 3 7/16" x 4 7/16". to create my background. There are many ways of achieving this effect, but this is how I did it for my card. Doing it this way gives incredibly vivid eye-catching backgrounds. 

I actually stamped on the clean block on about half of the block with an ink pad. You can keep "stamping" with the ink until you get the coverage you like. Leaving a little blank space sometimes works to give uninked white in the background, which is the look I like. Notice the upper right corner of the card. With the ink so saturated, however, this can be difficult to do. 

Use the other ink pad to do the remaining half of the block. 

Since I was using two primary colors, where they overlapped, it formed orange, which was perfect.

Once the block is covered with ink, lay it on scratch paper, and lightly spritz the inked block with water from a mister bottle. Don't get it TOO wet. That makes quite a mess to clean up and also causes the excess moisture to seep under the block. 

After creating numerous bubbles on the block with the spritzed water, flip it over quickly and stamp it as centered as possible on your waiting piece of Whisper White cardstock. I let it sit a few beats, then lift it STRAIGHT UP off the paper. 

At this point, you can either let it dry naturally, which takes some time, or hit it with the Heat Tool, on both the front and back to minimize the warping of the paper as much as possible.


The floral image I stamped onto my background is from the Ornate Style set on page 67 in the Annual Catalog. Being such a large stamp, I often have trouble getting a good stamped image, especially in the center portions. To alleviate this situation, I suggest you use a stamp positioning tool such as the Stamparatus on page 164 of the Annual Catalog. Using this type of tool gives you the chance to restamp the image if the first try isn't quite the way you'd like it to be. 


To put together the rest of the card is very simple, merely the act of putting together as many layers of coordinating cardstock to act as mats as you like. 

One thing to keep in mind when putting your card together is that the top piece, no matter how careful you are, will probably be a bit warped. So be extra vigilant when adding your adhesive, bringing it right to the edges so it lies flat against the first mat piece.


This is such a fun and easy technique to achieve really wow effects. Something like fireworks! Give it a try. There is no way to mess it up.

I hope you have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Fireworks
Smiles.

June 30, 2020

FERN RESIST

I needed a little pick-me-up yesterday. Because I love doing them, and they always pick me up, I couldn't resist doing a resist. 


After rubbing my entire piece of Whisper White cardstock that measured 4" x 5 1/4" with my Embossing Buddy, I carefully stamped the beautiful fern stem haphazardly in VersaMark ink. Even though VersaMark is a clear (sticky) ink, it is possible to see where you've already stamped, so it was fairly easy to keep the stems separated. 

When stamping an entire panel with the same image, start with one close to the center and work outwards from there. Don't forget to stamp partial images at the edges and corners so it looks like a continuous design that doesn't stop abruptly at the edges.

Once I felt I had covered the white cardstock well, I went to my Heat Station, covered the sticky stamping with clear embossing powder, then used my Heat Tool to melt the embossing powder. 

If  you think you have everything embossed, turn off the Heat Tool and tilt the piece at an angle to make sure each portion of the embossed images is shiny. If some of it remains a bit powdery looking, hit it with the Heat Tool again.


Next is the irresistible part of this technique. Grab a stampin' sponge or your blending tool of choice and some inks. I used Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive and Garden Green. Starting with the lightest color, randomly sponge that color here and there. Bring in the next lightest color and repeat. Do this until the background is sponged as you desire, with some areas lighter/darker than others to give it a nice variety of depth of color. 

When all the sponging is done, take a tissue and gently rub across the embossed areas to remove any excess ink and to make the embossing really pop.

On a scrap of Whisper White, I stamped the fern once again, but this time in Old Olive ink. I then fussy cut the fern. Even though it looks like it might be tricky cutting, it really isn't.


Since I needed the reminder, I stamped "just breathe" on a strip of Vellum cardstock (page 153 in the Annual Catalog). I cut the vellum about 5" long so I could wrap the ends over the edges of the resist piece.

To do the sentiment, I wanted it to be in Garden Green. But, not having that color of embossing powder, I first of all inked the sentiment up in VersaMark ink (which keeps the ink sticky enough to emboss), then in Garden Green ink. That way I had an embossed sentiment that matched my background ink.

I folded the ends of the vellum cardstock around to the back of the resist piece and taped the ends in place. I then tucked my fussy cut fern behind the vellum, leaving part of the branch casually draped over the sentiment.

To add just a teeny bit more interest to the card, I used the writing end of an Old Olive Stampin' Write Marker to make careful dots in the background, as well as on the vellum piece. When making these dots, be careful to bring the pen straight back up so you end up with dots and not dashes. 


The card base is Mossy Meadow cardstock. Isn't that a wonderful complement to the three green inks I used in my sponging? It just seems to ground the card.

The stamp set I used for the ferns is Positive Thoughts, found on page 87 in the Annual Catalog.

How do you feel about the emboss resist technique? Is it one you are able to resist?

Irresistible
Smiles.

June 27, 2020

SILVERY IRISES

I know I've admitted it before, but since this COVID-19 stuff began back in March, I have been driven to do a lot of coloring. A LOT! It usually involves my Stampin' Blends (I LOVE those precious things!) I truly consider my coloring much needed Creative Therapy.

During Sale-A-Bration, one of the free goodies a purchaser could get was a pack of beautiful Designer Series Paper that was all white with metallic designs printed on it. Each and every sheet of this DSP is exquisite in its own way.

The DSP used as is was lovely, but when you take Stampin' Blends to it, it turns completely magical. That's what I decided to do with this particular sheet that I used in my card.


I cut a piece of the DSP to 4" x 5 1/4" and went to town with my Stampin' Blends, Light Mango Melody and Light and Dark Seaside Spray. I left the background as white.

For a few days, this pretty piece of paper laid on my work table. I couldn't decide how to use it to its best advantage. Finally I had it!

Since the design on the DSP was silver embossing, I opted to do my focal point with silver embossing also. I stamped the pretty solid iris pair from Inspiring Iris on page 118 in the Annual Catalog in Mango Melody and Granny Apple Green. I rubbed the stamped flowers with the Embossing Buddy.Then, taking the outline stamp, I stamped that in VersaMark ink. At the Heat Station, I covered the stamping with Silver Embossing powder, making sure that every single bit of excess powder was brushed away before using the Heat Tool to emboss the piece. 

The larger die from the Stitched So Sweetly set (page 179) fit around these irises so nicely. 


When taking photos of this card, I was never successful in getting the silvery look of the outlined irises and the DSP. The following photo is sort of an odd angle, but I finally succeeded in capturing the shine. Yay!


The card has only a modest amount of dimension, in that I added some long retired silver and white woven ribbon and a few Stampin' Dimensionals. Behind the die cut piece I mounted a narrow strip of silver metallic cardstock that seemed to work well to set the main focus apart from the busy background.


The colors are so soft and appealing, so restful. And irises . . . Ah.


The card base was coordinating Seaside Spray cardstock. 


Now that we are more than three months into the COVID-19 pandemic, how are you all holding up?

Until recently, I haven't been doing too badly. 

The last few weeks, however, I am starting to fall completely apart. I sleep for hours each afternoon, have no desire to do any cardmaking, although I do force myself to go down to my Creation Station at least a few times a week. 

I don't think I've missed any of my #dailycreating drawing sessions during this time though. Most times my drawings are less than satisfying, however. 

I haven't had any of my in home monthly workshops, but have resorted to sending out little card kits to my customers each month to let them know that I miss them and am thinking about them a lot. I haven't seen any of them face-to-face, with one exception: one of my girls was on her way into my driveway to pick up an order on my porch and I was just leaving my driveway for an appointment. We chatted through our open car windows for a few minutes. It was so wonderful to see her face in person!

The only times I leave my house are to go to needed medical appointments. 

I am so conflicted about the attitudes that people have about this virus and how weird folks can be about social distancing, wearing masks and trying to stay home as much as possible. What exactly do these expectations have to do with their freedoms? It's just smart practices. 

I apologize. I did not mean to get all serious about what we are all enduring -- all over the world. 

I just wanted to explain the fact that it is almost completely destroying my emotional being. And there seems to be no end in sight. I am struggling big time. And if a little coloring can help me for awhile, I am going to stick with it. At least, I'm not sleeping . . .

I would love for you to share any thoughts you might have on this tumultuous, history-making, time we all find ourselves in.

Please take care of you and yours. Love to you!

Colorful
Smiles.