May 28, 2024

#365birds/THE DAILY BIRD November 2023

I am still drawing a bird each day. At this point, the count is well over 700 birds drawn by Yours Truly. During this month of November, a big change took place. You see, I completed my year's worth of bird drawings, #365birds, and then I transitioned to another bird drawing challenge, this one without a specific ending date. I call it The Daily Bird. This challenge has the same parameters and expectations.

I obviously wasn't just too pleased with my November 2023 drawings, as I only have 11 to share with you. As always, I will include the bird's name and any other pertinent information above each drawing.

Here we go! 

 Day 357 #365birds

Evening Grosbeak, Canada, U.S., Mexico


Day 361 #365birds
Mountain Bluebird, Western North America

Day 1 The Daily Bird
Peach-Faced Lovebird, Southwestern Africa

Day 2 The Daily Bird
Sedge Warbler, Europe and Western Asia

Day 4 The Daily Bird
Chestnut-Backed Chickadee, Southeastern Alaska to Central California

Day 10 The Daily Bird
Flame Robin, Southeastern Australia

Day 15 The Daily Bird
Red-Rumped Parrot, Australia

Day 16 The Daily Bird
Coquerel's Coua, Madagascar

Day 18 The Daily Bird
The bird with the silly haircut: Belgian Canary, Belgium, France, Netherlands

Day 19 The Daily Bird
Olive-Backed Sunbird, Philippines

Day 20 The Daily Bird
Chinese Goose, China

So, an ending and a new beginning. I just love birds. After finishing #365birds, I decided to just keep going with them. 

A few types of birds I definitely do not enjoy drawing though are penguins and hummingbirds. These are such extraordinary birds, but I feel my rendering of any of them just doesn't ever do them justice. So, when one of them is randomly picked for the day's bird drawing, I just gulp and go forth, hoping for the best. Usually disappointed though. That's one of the reasons you won't find too many of those types of birds within these posts. I just do not like my results.

If you would ever like to own a print of any of my birds, just let me know. Please don't print from these blog posts or my Instagram account. 

Speaking of Instagram, you can find me at @paperseedlings. That account is way more up-to-date than these blog posts are. I would be honored if you would become one of my cherished followers!

Thanks so much to all of you who are gracious enough to follow along with me on my bird adventure! I love the company!

Birdie
Smiles.





















May 26, 2024

JOSEPH'S COAT

For those of you who have been doing cardmaking for any amount of time, you are probably familiar with the technique that is referred to as Joseph's Coat. A process that takes a few steps and can be messy and somewhat unpredictable, the end result always proves to be worth the effort and gives a stunning background for your next card creation.


To start your Joseph's Coat background, cut a piece of white cardstock to your desired size. For my card, I used 4" x 5 1/4".  Rub this piece of cardstock well with an Embossing Buddy. 

Choose a stamp that you think would make an attractive background. I used a botanical branch. In VersaMark ink, stamp all over the cardstock, not overlapping the images at all. You may want to do this in stages so the ink doesn't dry before you even get it embossed. 

Once you have several images stamped, at the heat station, cover the images with clear embossing powder and use your heat tool to set the embossing. 

Finish up this piece in the same way.

Once the entire piece is embossed, used blending brushes to add color here and there. Try not to over blend the colors to keep the colors clean and separate, but joined. 

The photo below shows my piece embossed and the color added, ready for the next step.


For the next step, choose a color of ink that is fairly dark. I used Pretty Peacock. Using a rubber brayer -- and lots of patience -- roll ink over the embossed/colored piece until it is evenly covered with the dark ink. Roll every which way, repeatedly. It will require lots of layers. You might want to be listening to Adele's Rolling in the Deep while you are doing this. Just kidding. Though I do love that song.

Once the brayering is finished and you are happy with the look, take a tissue and gently wipe any excess ink from the images.

There! Now you are ready to create your card.


An up close and personal view of my finished card:


Snce I see my labor intensive background as the star of my card, I was, of course, hesitant to cover up just too much of its wonder, so went simple with the rest of the card.


If you are interested, I used a stamp from the set Forever Fern for my background image. The colors of ink I used, besides the Pretty Peacock, include Pear Pizzazz, Wisteria Wonder, Pacific Point, Rich Razzleberry, and Bermuda Bay. I know most of these are retired colors, but if you're like me, you still have them all around.


Have you ever tried the Joseph's Coat technique? Is this the same process you use to get your results? If not, please share with us how you go about the technique.

Colorful 
Smiles.











May 14, 2024

JUST BECAUSE

I decided that a truly spring-y looking card was in store for you today. I love this time of the year here in central Wisconsin. The blooming trees and bushes are at their lushest and spring flowers are popping up all over. The trees are at their vulnerable new stages of leafing out. Everything just looks so fresh and wonderful!


My card was created with a few retired products: the lovely Designer Series Paper and the darling flower die.


Just a closeup:


Here is a tutorial to recreate this card -- if you still have your supplies!

SUPPLIES:
Pool Party cardstock
Calypso Coral cardstock
Old Olive cardstock

Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
Floral Squares dies
Just Because die
Pool Party sequins
Peach-Colored Pearls
Stampin' Dimensionals

INSTRUCTIONS:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"  piece of Pool Party cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

To this card base, add a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of coordinating Designer Series Paper.

Use a small piece of Old Olive cardstock to die cut a framed flower and stem piece using a die from Floral Squares.

From this same die set, cut the three matching flowers in Calypso Coral cardstock. Adhere them over their counterparts on the first diecut piece.

Mount this to a 2 1/4" square of Calpyso Coral cardstock. Use Stampin' Dimensionals to add this to the card front, leaving equal margins at the top and at the sides.

From Pool Party cardstock, die cut a fairly large sentiment. Use small dots of glue to add this to the lower portion of the card.

Add coral colored pearls to the centers of the three flowers.

Scattered around the square, add three light turquoise sequins.


Spring-y
Smiles.







May 4, 2024

ALWAYS REMEMBER

I have been debating for some time now about whether I should discontinue my blog, Paper Seedlings, or if I should get back on the blogging wagon and keep on keeping on. Yesterday I had a really beautiful and encouraging comment on the post I had published about a month ago. This was enough of an incentive to prompt me to put something out there again. At least, for now.

Do you have any opinions on blogging? Namely me continuing my blog in order to plant little paper crafting seedlings and hope, along with you, that these seedlings grow into something beautiful and satisfying. Please share any thoughts you may have!

Back to today's card. The precious little flowers are forget-me-nots. Thus, I thought the sentiment was perfect for this card. A few words of beauty to remember a dear one who has just passed?


I did stamp, color and, finally, fussy cut my little bouquet. Because you all know how much I love fussy cutting and the look it gives to a piece. But, you'll notice in the tutorial that I suggest just die cutting the circle on which you stamp the flowers.


If you send out cards as snail mail frequently, you probably appreciate the fact that this is a very "flat' card, no unwieldy, dimensional additions.


Are you ready for that tutorial? Here you go:

SUPPLIES:
White cardstock
Balmy Blue cardstock
Coordinating Designer Series Paper

Peaceful Moments stamp set
Flower stamp from a recent Paper Pumpkin kit

Stampin' Blends in: Light Daffodil Delight, Light Just Jade, Light Tahitian Tide
Memento Tuxedo Black ink

Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
Seasonal Labels Dies
Deckled Circles Dies
1/2" white satin ribbon
Stampin' Dimensionals

DIRECTIONS:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of white cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

To this card base, add a 4" x 5 1/4"  piece of Designer Series Paper. 

Cut a strip of Balmy Blue that measures 1 1/2" x 5 1/4". Centered onto this strip, place a piece of 1/2" white satin ribbon that is about 6" long. Tape the ends of the ribbon to the back of the strip. It helps when placing something like this to run some adhesive along the back of the ribbon to hold it in place.

Adhere this strip down the center of the card.

On white cardstock, stamp in Memento Tuxedo Black ink a frond of forget-me-nots. Color them in as you wish. See list of supplies for Stampin' Blends colors I used.

Die cut this bouquet with the 2 3/8" circle from the Deckled Circles Dies.

From Balmy Blue cardstock, die cut another Deckled Circle, this one measuring 3 1/4" in diameter.

On a strip of white cardstock, stamp "Always Remember" in black ink. Use a die to cut it out. From Balmy Blue cardstock and the same die, cut another tag. Cut the blue tag in half, and adhere it to the back of the sentiment label, leaving approximately the same amount of blue extending on both ends.

Use Stampin' Diemsionals to adhere this to the bottom of the card.


Please don't forget to share how you feel about blogs in general, mine in particular. I can't wait to hear what you have to say!

Unforgettable
Smiles.







April 3, 2024

#365birds OCTOBER 2023

It's been more than a minute since I've posted anything on my blog, much less any of my bird drawings. In a bad headspace in recent months, I am struggling constantly.

The last batch of my bird portraits I shared with you was SEPTEMBER 2023! And, now it's April. Whoa, Linda. 

I share with you today my 14 favorite bird drawings from October, 2023. Being October, I am getting close to the end of my personal challenge, #365birds, during which I drew one bird image each day for a year.

As always, I will put certain information above each of the drawings: the day of  the challenge, the bird's name and where in the world the particular bird can be found naturally.

day 327 - golden conure

brazil


day 328 - european shag
northeast atlantic and the mediterranean

day 329 - great indian hornbill
southeast asia, bhutan, nepal, southwest china, southwest and himalayan india, cambodia, laos, myanmar, thailand and vietnam

day 330 - anhinga
southwest coastal north america - north carolina and texas

day 331 - rooster

day 336 - white-throated magpie jay
central america

day 339 - spiny-cheeked honeyeater
australia

day 344 - ornate hawk eagle
tropical americas

day 346 - bee eater
africa, asia, southern europe, australia, new guinea

day 347 - keel-billed toucan
southern mexico to venezuela and colombia

day 350 - saddle-billed stork
tropical africa

day 352 - american kestrel
alaska, northern canada, the u.s., central mexico, caribbean and south america

day 354 - steller's jay
western north america

day 356 - grey-headed bush shrike
sub-saharan africa

And there you have it. At this point, there are only  nine more days left of my 365-day challenge. I am not going to tell you right now whether I continued after the year was up or not. Watch my blog for the end of it all. ?

Please keep in mind that these are quick snapshots of my original artwork and are not to be used in any way without my express permission. I will gladly have a good quality print made for you if you wish. Just reach out to me.

Birdie
Smiles.



























March 15, 2024

SENDING HUGS

I don't know what exactly it is, but a beautiful floral-themed card has always really appealed to me.

The flower featured on this card is fussy cut from a sheet of metallic-outlined flowers on Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper. When faced with the possibility of getting several focal points from a single sheet of DSP, and that I can do one of my alltime favorite things -- fussy cutting! -- I am one excited girl.


I colored my chosen flower with Stampin' Blends, which did a wonderful soft job on this gorgeous flower. 

The flower, being as beautiful and large as it is, didn't require just too much effort to incorporate it into a lovely card.


Shown at an angle in the sun, you can appreciate the coppery glow of the outline of the flower. 

Adding dimension with dotted Swiss, created with an embossing folder, was the perfect, but non-invasive, addition to add charm to the card.


If you are lucky enough to have in your stash a couple sheets of this type of Designer Series Paper, and would like to use it on a card similar to this one, here is a tutorial on how you can do so.

SUPPLIES: 
Copper Metallic Cardstock
White cardstock
Soft Seafoam cardstock
Flower cut from metallic-outlined flower DSP

VersaMark ink
Stampin' Blends in: Light and Dark Seafoam, Light and Dark Balmy Blue, Light Mango Melody

Splendid Thoughts

Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
Tasteful Labels dies
Stitched Shapes dies
Balmy Blue ribbon
Stampin' Dimensionals
Genial Gems
Embossing Buddy
Heat Tool
Copper Embossing Powder
Dotted Swiss embossing folder

DIRECTIONS:
Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of copper metallic cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Cut a piece of white cardstock to 4" x 5 1/4" and emboss it with a dotted Swiss embossing folder. Add this piece to the card base.

Fussy cut one of the flowers from the Designer Series Paper. Color it as you wish. 

Die cut a 2 7/8" circle with the stitched edge if you have it. Mount the fussy cut flower to this circle. Use Stampin' Dimensionals to add it to the card base so there are even margins at the top and the sides.

Heat emboss in copper embossing powder a sentiment. I used a small flagged label from the Tasteful Labels dies to cut this out.

Take a 6" piece of  Balmy Blue ribbon, fold it in half, and tape it to the back of the sentiment label. Use Stampin' Dimensionals to add it to the lower right corner of the card.

Add three Genial Gems in green to the card, two on the circle and one on the sentiment.


Fussy
Smiles.







February 26, 2024

COLORED SPECIALTY PAPER

Often in the Stampin' Up! catalogs, there are exquisite lush Designer Series Papers. While gorgeous in their own right, you can make them even gorgeous-er (!) by adding a dash of color.

The card I share with you today is just such a case. To the design on the paper, a paper with a luscious metallic sheen, I added color with Stampin' Blends. Because some of the lines were quite delicate, I needed to use the smaller end of the pens and take a great deal of time.

For my card, I used Stampin' Blends in Dark Tahitian Tide, Dark Parakeet Party and Light Call Me Clover. 


The design on the paper was raised just the slightest bit, almost as if it were gently embossed. Placed at an angle in the sunshine, you can almost "see" the dimension of the design. 


I wanted to add a background with some pop to it, so opted for this leafy embossing folder with Tahitian Tide cardstock. The colored piece was matted with Parakeet Party cardstock.

Once again, as so often happens, the colored design was just so pretty that I didn't want to cover up just too much of its charm. So I opted for a delicate white diecut sentiment, added to a strip of Parakeet Party (how appropriate for a BIRTHDAY: Parakeet PARTY) and popped it up over the lower portion with a few Stampin' Dimensionals.


And how about you? When you get your hands on a luscious piece of paper, do you use it as is, try to fancy it up with color, or add it to your stash where it will while away the rest of its life, unused and unappreciated?


Specialty

Smiles.





February 14, 2024

VALENTINE HOOT

 Just wanted to wish you all a beautiful Valentine's Day!


Heartfelt 
Smiles.

 

February 3, 2024

EVEN MORE PRECIOUS

There are ever so many reasons to love Japanese culture. One of the aspects that is especially appealing to me is that of kintsugi, the art of repair. 

Kintsugi is a lovely tradition of restoring broken pottery rather than simply throwing it out in the trash. The pottery is brought back to a whole new -- even more valuable -- life by putting the piece back together using lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum, thus celebrating the history of the piece by making it even more worthy, rather than treating it as something that needs disguise or disposal.

This act of restoration is a metaphor for embracing any flaws or imperfections in ourselves and our lives. It also teaches us that life, along with all its roadblocks and unpredictability, is never irretrievable and, through care and time, life can be pieced back together to become even more beautiful and celebrated. The fragility of life and self is then celebrated and embraced instead of mourned.

Below is an example of Kintsugi: Isn't it lovely?

Although the art of kintsugi is usually applied toward the repair of pottery, I thought it could be interesting to try to achieve this effect through papercrafting. My attempt at paper kintsugi is shown below:


I chose a piece of Designer Series Paper that I thought looked somewhat pottery-like and went to work, first destroying it, and then repairing it, making it even more beautiful than it originally was.

Tearing the 4" x 5 1/4" piece of DSP into four distinct sections, I proceeded to repair it by putting it back together onto a 4 1/4" x 5 1/4" card base. The unsightly "cracks", i.e., tears, needed to be fixed in a hurry. 

I added adhesive over the tears, then added the papercrafter's "gold", leafing flakes. It was a messy process, and frustrating, the act of brushing off and beautifying the gold flakes, but I think it turned out quite well, achieving what I'd hoped to before I started. 

A person wouldn't necessarily need to do the tearing. You could just go ahead with a solid piece of your chosen DSP, add "cracklike" adhesive, then covering the "cracks" with the leafing flakes. But, then, you wouldn't be following the reasoning behind the beautiful art of kintsugi, that of repairing something that is broken, since it wasn't even broken in the first place. 


Once my kintsugi was completed, and my DSP was even more beautiful than when I started, I turned my masterpiece into a card by adding a die cut greeting and a few spots of bling.


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Kintsugi symbolizes how we must incorporate our wounds into who we are, rather than try to merely repair and forget them.
David Wong

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Repaired
Smiles.