Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Vellum jar

I found a cool punch a couple of weeks ago while browsing at my local craft store - it's a cute little jar.  Right away I had an idea of cutting it from vellum and using it to hold a stamped bouquet.

Took me a little thinking to get the idea in my head onto paper, but here it is:

I punched out the jar from both vellum (for the overlay) and also from watercolor paper, which I painted with a light wash of blue to simulate water. Then I stamped the stems from a little bouquet onto the paper jar, added the vellum with tiny dots of Tombow Mono Multi Glue and tied a bit of linen thread around the neck of the jar.  I colored the bouquet stamp with markers and then lined up the jar onto the stamped image.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Make It Monday - Debossing Stamped Images

I'm grateful that a few of these PTI challenges have inspired me to get back into cardmaking.  It's fun to see a technique and get ideas about how to apply it, and the chance to win some supplies from Papertrey Ink is an added incentive.

Last week I stayed up really late to finish my card and was glad to get it posted on my blog (which has been severely neglected).  When I woke on Monday morning, I realized I hadn't added it to PTI's blog... oh well.

Here I am again late Sunday night trying to get my piece posted...

I don't have many stamps with matching dies.  While driving to work, I thought about what image I could use.  It seems that my go-to image for many challenges has been Up, Up and Away.  I do have dies for this set.  However, I forgot that the die is connected, with all three images in one piece.  So I cut four of each of the balloons from thin chipboard and glued them together.  Then I used the thick diecuts to deboss the stamped images.  It was a little tricky to line them up just right over the images...  I found that the results were better from embossing rather than debossing; can't say why.

The good news is that now I have a few graduation cards, a very timely addition to my stash!

Monday, May 26, 2014

PTI Make It Monday "Artsy Watercolor Background" and other watercolor techniques

Well, I gave it a try.  Not my favorite technique, by a long shot.  I much prefer any number of other watercolor techniques that I've been learning.  As a matter of fact, I am thoroughly entranced by watercoloring lately.  But first:

It just looks messy to me, pulling the color off the image with a waterbrush.

What I really enjoy is to pull color onto a piece of wet watercolor paper.  I mostly use distress inks for this technique, but I've also used watercolor crayons and ink pads.  It's just so organic and each piece is unique.  It's really simple, too.

Something else that's fun is to sponge on ink in bands of color and spritz the piece with some water.  The colors react and blend in different ways, depending upon the type of ink.

I used distress watercolor markers on the blue and green "happy" card and I love how they blend; it's almost a batik effect.  The purple and red on the birthday card were sponged on from dye ink pads and I found that when spritzed with water. the droplets lifted color and left a bit of white or a very light version of the color in the center of each.

I think the artsy-est of all the backgrounds happened when I scribbled my distress markers onto a piece of plastic and spritzed the water onto the ink to create pools of inky droplets.  I dabbed my watercolor paper onto the pools a few times until it came out like this:

I don't think I'll be done experimenting with watercolor techniques any time soon... they make it really easy to feel creative and to step outside my predictable clean and simple style.  Can't wait to try some more ideas tomorrow!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

PTI Make it Monday: Watercolor Splats

I've been experimenting with watercolor techniques lately, so this challenge inspired me.

Who knew I'd really like sponging on and blending colors from my ink pads?  (Here I've used Stampin' Up's Concord Crush, Wisteria Wonder, Soft Sky and Island Indigo. Interesting how the Concord Crush turned pink when the waterdrops dried..)  I used Ranger watercolor paper, and there's a tiny touch of shimmer spray on the balloons.  The inlaid birthday diecut is from PTI's Wonderful Words: Birthday die, the balloon die is from Simon Says Stamp and the stamps are from a couple of old SU sets.  Happy!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter blessings

So the eggs were really fun and quick to make.  I had a bunch of them before I thought about how to incorporate them into a card.  I ended up weaving together little baskets out of Crumb Cake card stock, which was fairly time-consuming...  No matter, it's been so long since I've made cards, it was a great project to get me feeling inspired again!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Once in a blue moon...

This year on August 31, we had a "blue moon", the second full moon in a month.  The moon rose late, and I went outside to try to catch a photo through the thick but fast-moving clouds.  Without a tripod, and being dark, it was difficult to get a focused picture, but I like this one.  At any rate, it was a beautiful night and a beautiful sight.

Speaking of beautiful sights, I pass a fabulous farm on my way to work every weekday morning.  It features a giant cutting garden right at road's edge, and it delights me to watch the flowers grow from seedlings to rows and rows of blooms.  My favorites are the sunflowers, and why not!

Another interesting plant I passed often this summer was this pair of fungi.
I got a little surprise one morning when I picked up a plastic pot which was nestled inside a little bucket:
The Spicebush Swallowtail had been clinging to the side of the pot but landed on the bottom when I moved it.
Nothing much bloomed well in my yard this year, not even my hydrangeas (which overflowed vases last year), except for the Limelight
and the Pink Diamond.
Oh, and my lawn was full of Queen Anne's Lace, so I let it grow for a while...
One of the best plants this year was this Big Judy coleus, which provided a striking backdrop for the rest of my potted flowers.
But the real beauty is always the sweet autumn clematis growing up the wall at the back of the house.  This is a plant I would recommend to everyone (unless you're allergic to bees).  It will sprawl over a fence or climb a tree or a trellis, growing as far as it will be supported. 
My sweet pretty reaches to the second-floor bathroom window,

and even though it suffered dieback on the bottom half a couple years ago when it snapped the upper trellis in half from the sheer weight, it's still a spectacular specimen.  (I haven't had the heart to cut it back yet, since the birds are always nesting in it by the time I get out in the spring.)

But anyone who has grown sweet autumn clematis knows that the real pleasure is found in its intoxicating scent, which is why I'm so happy that it grows outside the bathroom window.  This is the real vantage point, looking - and smelling! - out the window.

So, another summer draws to a close.  It's been a lovely, dry, temperate summer, not too hot, not too muggy. 
A once-in-a-blue-moon kind of summer.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Connor

I made this card for Connor's birthday a few weeks ago, and had hoped to post it for Papertrey Ink's Make It Monday challenge, which was to watercolor using ink pads.  It's a pretty simple card, using my old standby Up, Up and Away as well as one of the Think Big Favorites.

 Connor's 15th birthday was in late August and I visited him for a few minutes at his dad's house to give him his present.  He opened it in the dark driveway so I didn't get a good photo...  he won't care:  he's enjoying his new IPod Touch.

 Better late than never, eh?