Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A Last Gift, part two

Time and again,
our hearts get broken,
and still we going on living...
and loving.

When Dad passed away we received flowers and cards from family and friends, new and old.  Mark's wife, Loretta, sent over two homemade suppers.  Bless her heart!  Then after Dad's graveside service down in Fredonia in late September, there were more people Mother and I both wanted to write.

So I needed another easy-to-duplicate design.

I turned to my new stamps delivered from Altenew.  I recently discovered these stamps and dies.  Mother and I looked through their site together and placed an order.  Not only that, but I came across the October 2018 Inspiration Challenge.  Perfect timing.


 Immediately I knew the Cosmos stamp set done up with deep oranges would look autumn-ish and abundantly thankful, which was how I often felt as I was writing.

I used the Tim Hotz stamping platform Mother gave me last Christmas, lined up these flowers--sometimes on plain ivory cardstock, sometimes on patterned scraps--and stamped the various layers in deepening shades of orange, green and brown.  I then trimmed the paper to leave a clean border.  (For 5 x 7 cards, I left a good half-inch border all around; for 4 x 5 1/2-inch cards, I made a much smaller border.)  I inked around the stamped piece before gluing to the front of a card.

I made a few different versions of these, some using thank-you stamps from Altenew, others using my own calligraphy.  I think this one with the watercolor background was one of my favorites.  

Making these, I could almost feel a morning breeze whispering through dewy flowers.

Cardstock:  ivory, Watercolor Splash stack (Momenta)
Stamps:  Stunning Cosmos set (Altenew) Thanks Around the World set (Altenew)
Dye inks:  orange, green, brown (Imagine Crafts)
Chalk ink: orange (Clearsnap)

Thank you for visiting!
I love your comments!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A Last Gift

I never knew it would be so hard to say "goodbye" to a life that's always been a part of my life.

These were the hardest cards to begin.

Dad passed away in the early hour of September 5th, and amid all the other things that needed to be done--decisions to be made, places to be notified-- I needed a lot of thank-you cards.  Fast.

At first it seemed like a good idea to create one design and copy it on the computer.  It sounded easy.  It wasn't.  I tried three or four times and hated the results.  I felt like a failure.

I cleared all those attempts away, sat down and started fresh...on one single card.

Dad grew up on a farm near Severy, Kansas, driving the horses to plough the fields when he was six years old.  So I wanted to image of a sunrise or sunset.  Digging through my box of stamps, I picked out these wildflowers from Inkadinkado to use as a silhouette.

However, they wouldn't cover a whole width of card, even a small one, so I tried masking, creating a border with masking tape.  Then I sponged sunset colors, using pastels for a soft look.  I stamped thee flowers with black dye ink.

I loved the look, but it was too much trouble.  Too much time and masking tape for 20-30 cards.

Aha!  (Why didn't I think of it before?)  I decided to cut rectangles of cardstock, sponge, stamp, let dry, and then TRIM the edges before adding calligraphy and gluing to a small card front.

I don't remember where I came across this quote from Thoreau, but it seemed fitting.  Not too gushy.
Dad was never a happy man--not with his family.  Since he passed away I found myself mourning the good times we all could have shared...if only...

I wish he could have seen heaven all around him.

These cards were my last gift to him.

You can find them for sale on my Etsy shop:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/639800056/sympathy-cards-set-of-three-handmade?ref=shop_home_active_1

Cardstock:  Hobby Lobby, Inc.
Ink:  Momenta Tuxedo Black Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko
Stamp:  Meadow Set (Inkadinkado)
Soft pastels (Faber-Castell)
Sumi ink and Brause nib

Monday, November 20, 2017


Don't you just love watercolors?
They give handmade cards such a free and airy look.
But you don't always have to dig out your watercolor pencils.

This monochrome card was easy to create, using Memento Rich Cocoa from Imagine.
I stamped this girl on a leftover scrap of watercolor paper and blended along the outlines with a waterbrush.  For a few of the deeper areas, I stamped color directly only an acrylic block and picked it up to create shadows. 

You can't see it in this photo.....but I must confess I'd forgotten to clean my brush after painting with some Delicata Golden Glitz, so some of that showed up in my first strokes on the umbrella.
I liked the look, so I sponged it along the edges of the textured brown cardstock used for layering.
Gives the whole card just a little shine.

5 x 6 1/2-inch pre-folded ivory card
textured brown cardstock scrap, cut to a rectangle as shown
"Beautiful You" stamp set--Stampin' Up
Memento Rich Cocoa dye ink, Delicata Golden Glitz--Imagine/Tsukineko

Like this card?  Share to Pinterest!
Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

November Days

The smallest things

fill our hearts with the greatest joy.

It's a beautiful, cloudy, misty day in northeast Kansas.
Trees are scattering their leaves.  For the past couple of weeks I could look out our windows to the south and see this deep scarlet tree nearly a block away grow brighter each day.  Then suddenly one morning, after a frost, the tree was nearly bare, and the ground all around it was deep scarlet.  
These kind of days put me in the mood to do things.
The tree is up...and almost all decorated.
A few presents are wrapped.
I'm eager to cut out a little dress that I'll smock for my aunt Nancy's first granddaughter.
And I've been making more cards.

I'm still playing with ways to use this new die cut flower I purchased from Penny Black.

First I die cut and embossed a 2 5/8 x 4 5/8-inch rectangle.  I sponged this with Electric Coral and Electric Yellow, being sure not to cover too much of the rectangle.  Leave lots of breathing space!
I die cut the flower from this rectangle.

 I sprayed the cut flower with a few applications of Sheer Shimmer Mist...

...and stamped a brush stroke (now discontinued from Hero Arts, but you can find others out there) with Golden Glitz Delicata along the right and bottom edges.  This gives it an elegant look like gold leaf, but without the mess!  I then "brushed" inside the die cut areas with the same Golden Glitz, using a Fantastix.

Next, I took a pre-folded 5 x 7 ivory card and masked a long rectangle along the left side with two pieces of masking tape.  (I get the tape not-too-sticky by pressing it along the inside of my elbow first!  One of these days someone will catch me walking around with strips of masking tape hanging off me.......)
Anyway, I sponged this rectangle with Electric Coral, Electric Yellow and Electric Orange, making the colors good and deep.

Then, for a bokeh effect, I sponged circles of Moonlight White through a stencil...and sometimes just using the sponge dauber on its own to make a small circle.  Keep the circles random, sometimes overlapping.

I removed the mask, adhered the rectangle and then the die cut flower as shown.  
I stamped the "Thanks" with more Golden Glitz.

Let me know how you like it.
Share on Pinterest and Facebook.


        Radiant Neon 4 set – Warm,    Brilliance Moonlight White, 
           Delicata Golden Glitz,  Sheer Shimmer Mist,    
           Sponge daubers and  Fantastix     (Imagine/Tsukineko)
        Heavyweight ivory cardstock (The Paper Studio)
        Matting Basics B Rectangles die set (Spellbinders)
        Beautiful You stamp set (Stampin’ Up)
        My Notebook stamp set (Hero Arts)
Peonies stamp and die set (Avery Elle)
        Circles stencil (Fiskars)
        2-way Glue (Kuretake)
         Big Shot die cutting machine (Sizzix)
        Acrylic block

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Cool Snap

 Autumn is here, dabbing hillsides, fields and trees with her paintbrush.  
Last week we took a drive north of town on Buck Creek Road, looking for bittersweet to stuff in the windowbox.  This scene below caught my eye.

This perfect weather puts me in the mood to add the stash of Christmas cards for my mother.  This one below I created by masking and sponging with Denim Kaleidacolor from Imagine Crafts for the background.  A few spritzes of sheer Shimmer Spray give it just the right amount of holiday sparkle.  I stamped my Kaleidacolor pad on an empty acrylic block and used this ink with a Fantastix to add a bit of "snow shadow." 

I used...

Denim Kaleidacolor inkpad
Cantaloupe Memonto Dew Drop ink pad
Mini Ink Blending Foam and handles
Fantastix, bullet tip
Sheer Shimmer Spray
(all from Imaginecrafts/Tsukineko)

white cardstock
Watercolor Splash patterned paper pad (Momenta)
Trees stamp set (Inkadinkado)
Holiday Sentiments stamp set (My Sentiments Exactly)
Card Creator 5 x 7 Matting Basics B dies (Spellbinders)
2-Way Glue (EKSuccess)
acrylic block

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sponged Embossing

In cardmaking, new products and techniques abound.  When I first saw a Cricut demonstrated on TV years ago, I admit, I scoffed at the very idea.  I'm not laughing now
Four years ago, I tried to talk myself out of wanting a Cuttlebug.  I eventually gave in.  Now I use both that and a Sizzix Big Shot and can't imagine doing without them.  

I do my share of die-cutting these days, but I was first looking for a good embossed image for sponging.  Recently I played with sponging again.  It takes on a new look on kraft paper.

Here I embossed a piece with the Poppy Fields folder from Darice.

I trimmed this and sponging it with Rich Cocoa dye ink.

With pastel pencils, I added color to the poppies and a few of the tall flowers and leaves...

...smoothing and filling it in with a cotton swab.

I used:

Cardstock:  kraft (Hobby Lobby, Inc.), Watercolor Paper stack (Making Memories)
Embossing folder:  Poppy Field (Darice)
Stamps:  Hot Air Balloon Framelits w/stamps set #660690 (Sizzix)
Dye Ink:  Rich Cocoa Memento Dew Drop (Tsukineko/Imagine Crafts)
Dies:  Puffy Cloud Borders (Lawn Fawn)
Chalk Pastel Pencils:  light blue, sap green, orange (General’s)
Die-cutting/embossing machine (Sizzix)
Brads:  4 copper (Hobby Lobby, Inc.)
Glue dots
Cotton swab

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Masking Tape Frames

It's been a while since we got together.  
October is already more than half over, and I'm still waiting for McIntosh apples to hit the grocery store.  I like to bite into a crisp and juicy one while watching the sunset deepen from our kitchen window.

Last time I showed you some of my cardmaking using masking tape.
There's nothing quite like it for creating one-layer cards.  

Below, I started with a pre-folded watercolor card and created a frame with masking tape.
***I take out some of the stickiness by sticking it to myself a few times!
Inside the frame, I stamped this discontinued flower from Hero Arts, using watercolor pencils.  After stamping, I deepened shadows and added a loose background with watercolor pencils and a brush...not using too much water.

I added a bit of calligraphy for the complete card.  This was a birthday card for my cousin's daughter.

I did pretty much the same thing here with this rose stamp, a new one from Hero Arts, adding a wash of blue and yellow around the flower.

What's your favorite way to mask?