Thursday, August 27, 2015

FOCUS FRIDAY: ROADS TO NOWHERE


It's a leaf.
I know that.

BUT
while flying,
if you've ever looked
THROUGH THE CLOUDS
to the
LANDSCAPE 
far below

Reminiscent?

ROADS.
To WHERE
anywhere
elsewhere
somewhere
nowhere

Some
days
feel 
like
THAT.

Each man's life represents a road toward himself.
- Herman Hesse -


Inward
Smiles.




Wednesday, August 26, 2015

SCALLOPED CHERRIES

HELLLLOOOOOO, Paper Players! 
I liked the Sketch Challenge for this week, so decided to indulge myself.

What do you think of the cute little cherry design on the Designer Series Paper I used for my background? 

That paper, as well as the funky crosshatched green and white piece come from the Cherry on Top Designer Series Paper Stack on page 144. I threw in a little Mint Macaron for a some contrast. The card base is that scrumptious Watermelon Wonder. Mmmmm. Makes me hungry just looking at it. It is spot on for the color of watermelon!


I did dig out the retired set, Button Buddies, to make my little cherries for my focal point. I cut out and popped up the leaf. And I like the little scalloped circles around the button "cherries". As I am wont to do, I repeated the cheery (cherry!) scallops in the dot-embossed white circle.


Below is the sketch on which I based my card. I stayed fairly true to the sketch:



Do any of you, my readers, ever take part in challenges? Share some of your favorite challenges with us here!

Scalloped
Smiles.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

FRIENDLY DRAGONFLY: TUTORIAL

I realize it's been quite awhile since I've shared a tutorial with you. Well, you are in for a treat today. Because I am going to give you blow-by-blow directions on how to create this beauty:


Using an amazingly beautiful -- and versatile -- stamp set from the big catalog, this card features Awesomely Artistic (page 125). I have used all but three of the images from this set, and it includes nine images. 

One of the images is this gorgeous realistic dragonfly. While it is fussy cut, it is an easy task. Leaving a bit of margin around the stamped portions makes it fairly quick to cut out.


And popped up with a piece of Stampin' Dimensional, it seems as if it has just landed on the card -- or is about to take off again.


The following photo shows a couple of elements that I really love, and that make the card outstanding. 

The technique used is, of course, an emboss resist. Notice the shiny embossed look of the fern that is catching the light.

By coming in at the end with some of the splotches from the set, stamped off first, it gives our card another interesting facet.

I love how easy it is to create the "Friend" label. It looks somewhat complicated, but with Stampin' Up!'s creative planning, it is so simple to manage.

The lovely 1/4" Cotton Ribbon in Marina Mist adds the final -- necessary -- touch.


The card would be equally as beautiful in a variety of other color combinations. I, however, do love the icy looks of the blue/green combo I've used here.

Have fun creating one of these cards for yourself!

Supplies:
Awesomely Artistic stamp set

Whisper White cardstock
Naturals White cardstock
Tempting Turquoise cardstock
Mellow Moss cardstock
Wild Wasabi cardstock

Tempting Turquoise ink
Marina Mist ink
Wild Wasabi ink
Mossy Meadow ink
VersaMark ink

Marina Mist 1/4" Cotton Ribbon (page 159)
Basic Pearls
Embossing Buddy
Clear Embossing Powder
Heat Tool
Big Shot
Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits (173)
Stampin' Dimensionals
Paper Snips

Directions:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of Naturals White cardstock in half, creasing well with a bone folder.

Adhere a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Tempting Turquoise cardstock to the card base, followed by a 3 7/8" x 5 1/8" piece of Mossy Meadow cardstock.

Rub a 3 3/4" x 5" piece of Whisper White cardstock well with the Embossing Buddy. Stamp the ferns in VersaMark, stamping the larger ferns first and filling in the blank spaces with the smaller ferns. It is OK to overlap the ferns a LITTLE BIT, but try to keep them fairly separated. 

At the Heat Station, dump clear embossing powder over the entire surface, tapping the excess powder back into its container. Use the Heat Tool to emboss the ferns, making sure that ALL the ferns are shiny. Set this piece aside to cool completely.

On a scrap piece of Wild Wasabi cardstock, stamp the dragonfly in Mossy Meadow ink. Carefully cut out the dragonfly, leaving a small margin around the stamped image. Set him aside. BUT KEEP AN EYE ON HIM SO HE DOESN'T FLY AWAY!

On a scrap of Whisper White, stamp the frame image in Wild Wasabi. Stamp "Friend" in the center of the frame in Marina Mist. Cut out this label with the appropriate Framelit in the Big Shot. Add Basic Pearls to either side of the word, removing the pearls from their base and transferring them to the label with a craft knife (Xacto). Set this aside for now.

Go back to the fern piece. With sponges, and starting with the Tempting Turquoise, sponge the ink randomly, starting out softly. You will be darkening it later, so leave it light for now. Follow with the Wild Wasabi and the Marina Mist inks, starting to blend and overlap the colors somewhat. When you have the entire piece covered with these inks, you can go in and deepen some of the tones for a variety.

In Marina Mist, lightly stamp the splotchy dots here and there, stamping them off first.

Secure the ends of a piece of Marina Mist 1/4" Cotton Ribbon to the back of this piece with tape. Adhere the piece to the card base.

Put the dragonfly in the sky with a piece of Stampin' Dimensional. Add the label over the ribbon with two Stampin' Dimensionals.

Take flight!

Friendly
Smiles.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

FOCUS FRIDAY: FANCY


Every time
I look at this image,
I am 
PLEASANTLY
reminded of
the work
of
Georgia O'Keeffe.

GRACEFUL
ABSTRACT
CONTROVERSIAL
paintings of
FLOWERS.

Are you 
FAMILIAR
with

FLOWERS don't bloom where no seeds have been planted.
If you want kindness, be kind.
If you want acceptance, be accepting.
If you want encouragement, be encouraging.
If you want forgiveness, be forgiving.
If you want love, be loving.
If you want respect, be respectful.
We should not expect from others 
what we fail to give to them.
- Tom Krause -

You are cordially invited to visit MY INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT.

Fancy
Smiles.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WASHI BEAR BIRTHDAY

Yesterday was my son-in-law, Stephen's, birthday. Early last week, I realized that it was approaching quickly and that I still had to make a card for him. He is both a yoga and a bicycling enthusiast. But I didn't have ideas relating to either one of those two interests pop into my head. 

So, I decided to make him a card that was cheery and maybe a little bit goofy instead. Going through my supplies for something that I thought would appeal to him (and me), I came across those little guys with their happy arms and signs from Cheerful Critters -- now retired, alas. The bear looked especially endearing, so I opted to use him on my card.

Maybe I AM getting just a little crazy about fussy cutting and paper piecing, but that's what I went with again for this little guy. Going through my scraps of DSP, I came across this cute dotted design. I stamped his striped T-shirt onto that paper, then cut it out. I stamped the little bear himself on a brown cardstock, and cut him out. I then dressed him in his new T-shirt.

OK. Now, where do I go?

I had an idea of putting paper pieced balloons all over the background. With that in mind, I went through the stamps from my past Paper Pumpkin kits because I knew I had one of a balloon. 

During this search, I encountered one of the giant orange balloons from one of the recent kits. Since there was orange in little bear's fancy shirt, it seemed like the perfect solution. I tied some baker's twine around the bottom of the balloon. 

Well, now I have a nattily dressed bear and a big balloon. Of course, it was a no brainer that the sign his skinny little hands would be holding was to be created with the Sassy Salutations. 

Alright, now my focal point is done. What about the background of the card?

Hey! I'd been meaning to use some washi tape in a project, but kept forgetting about it. So, I grabbed that container and went through my vast array of Stampin' Up! washi tapes, both current and retired. I chose four designs that would complement the colors in his shirt.

But, now what?

I took a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Whisper White cardstock, and just started stacking the washi tapes in haphazard horizontal lines, varying the amount of white space between the tapes. I gently tucked the torn edges to the back of the white piece. Nice and neat and clean.

That background was aDORable! So, I mounted it to a card base of Crushed Curry.


A close-up of our "furry" little star with his cute sign:


I used a few Stampin' Dimensionals on the bear and his balloon to give a little added dimension:


I was anxious to find out if Stephen liked the card, and was thrilled when he actually posted a picture of it on Facebook last night, attributing it to his mother-in-law, Linda Kilsdonk. Awwww!

Happy Birthday, Stephen!

Washi
Smiles.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

JACOB'S ARK

I may have gone a little overboard with this baby card.


But creating it was just, oh, so much fun! 

It took me a couple of sessions to complete the ark. Because, you see, the animals and waves are all paper pieced. The clouds were snipped from some old retired 6" x 6" DSP that I had in my stash. 

Initially, I had discovered this piece of boy-looking Designer Series Paper that I thought would be the perfect neutral backdrop for my pieced ark and its occupants. You can see in the previous photo how I had placed it onto the piece, with just the hint of neutral letters in the background. I had planned to cut the finished portion out with an oval or a circle Framelit and make it into a cute tent topper card. 

But, as I finished the ark and surroundings, it just screamed for me to add other elements to it and make it something even more special, and possibly of keepsake quality.

Those little Paper Seedlings had been planted, fertilized, watered, and now they were percolating just 'neath the soil.



The little one's name is Jacob, so . . . hmmm . . . C'mon, Linda, crawl out of that box.

I fetched my set of Little Letters Thinlits and went to work. I used two-toned orange polka dot paper to randomly place the letter Thinlits so the dots would be every which way. Not organized and in neat rows. Kinda like a little boy.

By adding the name to the wave, it was neatly incorporated into the total design. 


Because it was actually a card, I added the cute and happy greeting inside in a matching look.


The final card measured 6" x 6" -- a size I thought would be precious framed and hung in Jacob's room -- so I needed to make an envelope to fit.

Grabbing my handy dandy Envelope Punch Board, I used paper that did not quite match, but it exuded the same feeling of masculine baby, to create the enclosing envelope.

I completely forgot to take a photo of the cute blue bow belly band I made to seal the flat little package. The Envelope Punch Board was used once again (love that thing!!) to create the same type of bow that I put on THIS EASTER BASKET. I then attached it to a belly band that I made from the same textured cardstock as the bow.


Happy Birth-Day to you, Jacob!

Snippy
Smiles.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

FOCUS FRIDAY: SUNNY


LUCKY DAY

Common Knowledge:
On a sunny day,
never take photos
between
10 and 3.

Throwing caution to the wind
(literally -- it was beastly windy)
I set out bound for a local
garden center
to take some photos
ANYWAY.

Sun
(and wind)
beating down,
but I was
LUCKY
that the conditions
rendered the
petals
of this
BLACK-EYED SUSAN
almost
translucent.
MADE ME SMILE.

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.
These are but trifles, to be sure,
but scattered along life's pathway,
the good they do is inconceivable.

- Joseph Addison - 

Please do me the honor of visiting MY INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT.

Sunny
Smiles.