Saturday, August 13, 2016

By the Sea, By the Sea

It's Saturday afternoon.
The day started out relatively cool for August in Kansas,...particularly since it was 102 degrees here just two days ago.  With all the windows thrown open, there was a nice breeze travelling all through the house.  After lunch, my mother and sister and I drove around town, looking for garage and estate sales.  Now it's quiet--only the rhythmic hum of the ceiling fan and the tap of the keyboard.

These sets from Stampin Up have been retired for some time (yeah, I know I'm behind the times), but I just discovered them and purchased a couple of unused sets (yea!) early this year.  I fell in love at first sight. 

Sketches and Seaside Sketches 

I've made quite a few cards with them already.
For some, I stamped the image in brown chalk ink and colored very loosely--really just adding a few lines of color here and there, as I did on this birthday card for my niece

Then I decided to see if these word work with spritzing and coloring the stamp with watercolor pencils, as I love to do.  This was the result.

What do you think?
It was just what I wanted...and more.
I created these three cards with that technique.

For these next cards, I just used a bit of simple masking and sponging to create a relaxing shore scene.

I can tell these stamp sets are going to get a lot of use!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Cards of August

August has always been one of my least favorite months of the year. 
The summer's grown long-drawn-out and tired.  The flowers are gasping for rain and cooler weather.  
I am longing for fall.
Late this afternoon, this goldfinch was enjoying the remains of our echinacea.

Still, these late summer days have plenty of birthdays ahead, so I've been creating a few cards.

This first one...for our mailman...uses my Hero Arts dandelion, stamped in brown and colored with dusty blue chalk.  I added a bit of leftover ribbon from my scrap box.

This is my first card using the new Momenta paper pad.  Every page looks like a splash of watercolor!  It's almost too pretty to use.  I decided to do a bit of calligraphy and add this dandelion from Stacy Stamps.  (Why is it we hate to see dandelions in the yard, but they look so pretty and carefree on a card?)

This next card was made entirely from scraps and leftovers.

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Come back soon!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Just add water...color

I love creating cards with watercolors.   Usually, I head right for one of my flower stamps, but yesterday morning I picked up this airplane from Serendipity Stamps.  I misted and colored with watercolor pencils, stamped...and then added a little guy inside the cockpit with a dab of gray paint.

Using these new brassy brads I got a Hobby Lobby, I layered this on some old map patterned paper, die-cutting this "Thanks" from Little Yellow Bicycle from the leftover scraps.
I'm happy with it!

I'm entering this in the latest Serendipity Stamps Challenge.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Background Stamping

I love hollyhocks.
I've always heard my great-grandmother Sarah Jane had hollyhocks and sweet pea, and it's made me want them even more.  We used to have hollyhocks growing abundantly in our east front yard--every color, growing as tall as I am--but over the years they faded out, and it's been a struggle to get new ones growing.  Sweet pea, I just planted out by the back fence this spring.  
I love this hollyhock stamp from Serendipity Stamps so much, I'm always looking for new ways to use it.  
This afternoon I made a card for the 

On a scrap of watercolor paper (leftover from a calligraphy project), I used an oval mask and inked up this big stamp from Inkadinkado with brown dye ink.  I lightly misted it with water before stamping, for a slightly mottled look.  

Removing the mask, it was time to color my hollyhock stamp with watercolor pencils, laying on thick color, misting and stamping.  The sentiment is from Flonz.
When dry, I layered this piece on a pre-folded kraft card and added a few wood sequins.

Oh, good.  It looks like rain, and I can hear thunder coming closer.  We need it!

Thanks for stopping by!
I love your comments!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Clearsnap Color Challenge

Hello!  It's been a long time.  I didn't realize just how long, until I was skimming through here last week.  I haven't posted since February?  Really?  Ouch.  
Well, I can't say everything's quite back to normal, but I am trying to get back bit by bit--back to calligraphy (I dived in with a fun piece I designed for a wedding gift), back to smocking (with thre projects going at once!), back to cardmaking.  Cardmaking! I'd better get back, because my mother's stash is getting mighty low,...and we've still got more birthdays coming up.

While perusing some of my old haunts, I discovered the Clearsnap blog, and with it their Color Challenge. Since I use a lot of Clearsnap inks, I thought I'd like to enter the

I've had this poppy embossing folder I've been wanting to use since Christmas time, but I just never had a good idea for it before.  I used it to emboss a scrap of white cardstock, then sponged this with Yellow Ochre blending into Caliente in the lower right corner, and Ice Blue blending into Surf in the opposite corner.  I attached this to the front of a pre-folded white card and added a tag for my message.  Done!  Fast and fun.

pre-folded white card; white cardstock
Poppy Field embossing folder from Darice, Inc.
Ice Blue, Surf, Yellow Ochre and Caliente inks from Clearsnap
Stitched Tags die set from Pretty Pink Posh
sentiment is in an old set from Printworks

I've missed you.  Let me know what you've been up to!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Anything Goes?

First of all, I want to shout out a Happy 49th Birthday to my big brother, John.
Love you, John!

I've been saving this gorgeous paper from the DIY pad by Cratepaper.  
I love the watercolor look--perfect for a background.

I chose a spot with mainly pinks and yellows and cut it for my background, and then created a simple card with my Bluebells stamp from Serendipity Stamps and a bird die from Momenta.
Well,...I wanted simple, yes, but not blah.  And this looked downright blech!
After a bit of musing, I cut my card front in half.

With these two pieces, I created two cards.
For the first one, I framed and cut piece with a bit of blue from my scrap drawer.  I die cut another bird from a scrap of brown.  The sentiment is from my new stamp/die set from Sizzix, Hot Air Balloon.  When stamping the bluebells, I used blue and green markers, and then added a bit more color with a light blue chalk pencil.

I used the same supplies for this second card, using more of my brown paper scrap for the frame.  I almost think I like this one best of all.  I'm going to enter it in the latest Serendipity Stamps challenge:  
Thanks for stopping by!
Let me know what you think!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Snow Days

We got a beautiful snow here in Kansas yesterday.  It floated down in huge flakes for a while, but swept away easily from the sidewalks and driveway.  I had a bit of time to spare, so I created this card, using my new Winter Fenceline stamp from Serendipity Stamps.

I stamped Winter Fenceline in my favorite Rich Cocoa from Imagine Crafts/Tsukindeko and sponged the background with VersaMagic Turquoise Gem to match the stripes.

I'm entering this in the current Serendipity Stamps Challenge.
Thanks for visiting!  
I love your comments!

Thursday, January 7, 2016


Happy New Year!

Yes, of course we're well into the new year now.  Many of you may have all your Christmas things packed safely away.  Not me.  I still enjoy gazing at the lights on the Christmas tree, playing Christmas CDs while I work and all.  I try not to see the aisles of pink and red hearts taking over Hobby Lobby right now.  I'm not ready for all that.  
I know.  I'll regret that in about a month. 

These past couple of month, as the holidays caught me by surprise, I had to, one by one, drop seemingly important things from my growing to-do list.  One thing that had to go were the card challenges.  I felt only a little pang of regret.   I'd recently applied for two design team positions and missed out on both...though I did make round two on one of them.  So maybe I was due for a step back and a deep breath.

Now I'm ready to jump back into the fold.

One thing I really enjoyed last year (besides my precious time on the CardMaker Blog Team!)  was participating in the challenges on the Serendipity Stamps Challenge Blog.  
If you've never checked out Serendipity Stamps before, make that a New Year's resolution!

The first challenge this year calls for stripes.

I wanted to use my new airplane stamp for a one-layer card.  (I bought one of these for both me and my sister, in honor of our cousin Kenny and uncle Bud.)   I brushed a bit of brown pastel on the card, using a cotton ball.  After stamping the plane, I used a kneaded eraser to remove pastel from areas of the clouds, creating highlights.

Then I added these stripes from Hero Arts and the sentiment from Avery Elle.

Hmmmmm.  It looks okay, I guess, but it wasn't really what I had in mind, so I started again.  Looked to me like this design needed a square card.  (So many of them do!)

For this version, I sponged sky blue and pink pastel in the background.  (You may not be able to see it in the picture, but it shows up beautifully in real life.)  This time a stamped the plane in black and the stripes in sky blue.  (Okay, if they look a little muddy, it's because I got a bit impatient and probably didn't clean that stamp as well as I should have!)

I like this one a lot better.
What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by!
I wish you all the best in 2016!