Sunday, April 22, 2018

In Him There Is No Darkness at All

1 John 1:5

"...God is light; in him there is no darkness at all."




This verse was part of the scripture reading in church this morning, and I thought of this card as Pastor Amy preached on it.

The paper is Gina K deluxe white. Its coated surface makes coloring with and blending Copic markers so much easier than absorbent card stock. I used Y11, Y15, and Y17 Copics, blending out from the center (Y17) to a feathering of Y11.

The image looked a bit flat, so I brushed on Wink of Stella clear shimmer, and it looks awesome! You can see it somewhat in the close-up photo, but in real life, it's very shimmery.




If you don't have a Wink of Stella brush pen in clear, get one!

This card, like the past two I've posted, comes courtesy of Inkadinkado's Good News set which the very kind Eva gave me.

May your week begin, continue, and close in the light of love, peace, and hope.

Hugs,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Inkadinkado Good News
paper: Gina K
ink: Memento black
accessories: Copic Markers, craft foam, glue, Wink of Stella clear brush pen


Friday, April 20, 2018

Peace and Love


Today's card uses the Peace stamp from the Inkadinkado set Good News that Eva so kindly gave me. I loved the vertical arrangement and wanted to emphasize it with card orientation and color.


Card Size 6.25" x 3.5"

The shadow stamp was inked with a Hero Arts ombre ink pad so the ombre effect moves side to side rather than top to bottom. Originally, I used a Kaleidacolor blue pad, but the ombre effect went top to bottom (peace descending...a good idea that shouldn't have seen the light of day), and frankly, it looked weird. That's when I got the idea to use the Hero Arts pad instead, and loved the results.

Proof positive that we really need a BUNCH of ink pads. Right? Of course.

Anyway, the panel still needed a little something, so I brushed clear Wink of Stella over the whole thing. The inks are all waterproof, so no worries about smearing.




The shimmer is lovely.

We all need peace in our lives.

-----------------

I shared my son's prom pictures last weekend, but tonight I'm sharing a baby picture and one of his senior pictures (photo credits to my talented photographer husband George). These pictures will run in the slide show at his graduation next month.


Seven months old. That scrunched-up nose was such an adorable--
and frequent--expression.

Eighteen years old. His hair is dark now,
and he loves the snow immoderately.
Love this face so much!

Mercy, grace, PEACE, and LOVE,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Inkadinkado Good News
ink: Hero Arts Ombre, Archival black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: Wink of Stella clear brush pen, craft foam, glue

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Thanks, Eva!

My stampy friend (and fellow Methodist) Eva surprised me with a lovely card and stamp set last week. Eeeep!


She had no way of knowing I've been on the lookout for a religious set that had smaller images. Most sets seem to have larger images that are harder for me to work with. So YAY! Thank you, Eva, for being such a generous friend and for giving me just the set I've been looking for!

I had a blast playing around with this set over the weekend, and here's the first card I made with it.



The idea popped into my head as I sat down holding the set, so I popped up and grabbed my EK Success label punch and whipped this up in record time.




The curvy punched label and curvy font of the sentiment look so feminine to me, so I opted for bright pink ribbon. I like how the ribbon looks likes it's hugging the card...as if I'm sending a hug in the mail. In fact I will send this paper hug to a friend who is dealing with some stuff.

We all know people who are dealing with some stuff.

Perhaps you're dealing with some stuff. Sometimes, it's hard to deal with stuff and believe that any sort of deity loves you. After all, if Jesus loves you, why are you hurting? Why are bad things happening?

Well, let me tell you that the world sucks because there's evil in it. Jesus isn't Santa Claus, and He doesn't give the good little boys and girls presents and the bad little boys and girls cancer...or divorces...or car accidents...or get them fired from their jobs...or take their loved ones away. Bad things happen to good (and bad) people, and good things happen to bad (and good) people.

But the world is also amazing and wonderful because God DOES give us each other, and every single act of loving-kindness is straight from God through Jesus (God self-limited to human form), who loves you so much He died on a cross for you.

And if you find that all hard to swallow (because, let's face it, it's pretty weird and seems a bit unlikely), then maybe it helps for you to just think of God as love. Pure and simple. Mr. Rogers said that when bad things happen, look for the helpers. There are always helpers...because there is always love.

So, if you need it, please take today's card as an act of loving-kindness for you, a pink hug with love from Jesus. It won't take your troubles away, but may it make those troubles a tiny bit easier to bear.

And find a helper or two to get you through the stuff. They are there. Just reach out.

Mercy, grace, peace, and lots and lots of love,
Susan


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Soft Sympathy, Inelegant CASE

Today's card is based on a card I saw on Pinterest by Susan Goetter. Her version is way prettier than mine.

Here's mine.



Susan's stamp is absolutely perfect for her layout, but I had a smaller tree scene. When I stamped the right side over the watercolor background, it looked odd because it was so small. I added the other side of the stamp on the left, and it still looks odd but at least it's not so empty.

What I need to do is recreate this card with a much smaller watercolor panel scaled to fit my stamp.



The idea of Susan's card is solidly awesome design. My CASE is inelegant but I'm so glad I tried. And I will try again.

Because trying and failing teaches me stuff. Y'all mostly see my successes, but there are misses, too. Frequently.

And that's okay.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: PSX, Papertrey sentiment
ink: Memento Luxe espresso truffle
paper: watercolor paper (Tim Holtz), Papertrey white
accessories: Arteza real brush watercolor pens, aqua brush, rhinestones

Monday, April 16, 2018

Three Cards

My three cards today were inspired by the cards on this PIN for which there is no link or attribution. Which makes me sad because they are lovely, and I'd love to give credit where credit is due!

I played around with the acrylic block stamping technique by painting the block with various Arteza real brush markers, spritzing with water, and then applying the block to watercolor paper. This is my favorite watercolor background technique because it's so EASY and almost always turns out at least okay, if not great.

This time, though, I added extra color with the brush markers (along with more water for blending) to get more intense color and am pleased with the results.




This layout works because it accents the rule of thirds. Imagine two vertical and two horizontal lines dividing the card into a tic-tac-toe grid. The rectangle is more or less centered on the sweet spot where the left vertical line and top horizontal line intersect. Then, the sentiment is in the sweet spot where the right vertical line and bottom horizontal line intersect.

This arrangement looks balanced and harmonious.




Note also that the lines of the branch stamp add movement and curves which are picked up in the curvy script of the sentiment.



And the bling. As always, it needs no reason or excuse.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Hero Arts branch, sentiment unknown (but probably Papertrey)
ink: Memento Luxe espresso truffle (which reminds me I had wayyyy too much espresso today so I heard colors and saw sounds...so weird!)
paper: Papertrey white, Hero Arts handmade watercolor paper
accessories: Arteza real brush markers, acrylic blocks, spritzer, rhinestones

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Garden of Prayers

When making thinking-of-you or praying-for-you cards, you sometimes need to come up with a serene and peaceful design, one that sends a message of calm and love.

Sometimes, however, you need something cheerful and uplifting, with lots of color.

Isn't it great that we can play around with lots of different designs to meet different needs?

Of course, it is!

Today, I'm going for serene and peaceful.


It's largely the color scheme that makes this card peaceful. You could change up the colors and give the same layout and stamps a cheerful mood. But these soft, muted blues keep everything calm.



I love peaceful, muted cards, and I love bright, happy cards. I made a few quick cards on Saturday that really spotlight pops of bright color...can't wait to get them photographed and share them.

This weekend was a busy one. Nick, my firstborn, went to prom yesterday (Saturday). I still don't have a picture of him and his date, but I shot these before he left the house.



The umbrella was a nice touch. He's a fan of Kingsman (the movie starring Colin Firth) and decided to have a little fun with it. The fact that it was a rainy evening made the large umbrella to protect his date especially fitting! "Manners maketh man."




Love this young man so much!

Then today, I attended an in-service for Stephen Ministry on the opioid crisis. Y'all. We in the Dayton area are at ground zero for this mess, and it's just terrible...the wasted lives and broken families, the overdoses, the inadequate treatment programs, the stunningly sophisticated business practices of the drug cartels, the way they target ten and eleven year olds. It's terrible, and so many people don't understand addiction, what it does to the brain, how quickly and how powerfully it can take over a life. With understanding comes compassion.

From joy over my son's senior prom to raising awareness about heroin and fentanyl...I was all over the place this weekend emotionally.

Hopefully, you got inky and made pretty trash and pretty cards as I did.

What else did you do this weekend that lifted you up or educated you in some way?

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Papertrey sentiment, Altenew Botanical Garden
ink: Archival soft sky, Hero Arts robin's egg
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dimensionals

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Different Script Background

So the past three posts showcased a small script stamp, but it's not the only script stamp I have. In fact, I have several script stamps, including a wood-mounted one that is rather large and has great spacing between the lines. It's perfect for expanding the background to cover more space on the card.

Of course, there's still plenty of white space.




Note that the butterflies are still from Hero Arts Antique Engravings, but with a kaleidoscope of butterflies rather than one or two. (Full disclosure: I had to look up what a large group of butterflies is called. Isn't a kaleidoscope cool? I thought so! If you've ever been in a well-populated butterfly house, kaleidoscope certainly is apt for the experience.)




The speckles are off-stamped Archival cobalt, while the butterflies are full-strength of the same ink.

Very light edging of ink on the stamped panel and raised panel give a bit of definition to the layers without the need to mat anything.

Tomorrow, I'll actually post a card that doesn't use Antique Engravings. So yay! But I do love the set and will keep it forever. I hope you've enjoyed seeing it paired with two different script stamps.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Supplies
stamps: Hero Arts Antique Engravings; Gina K sentiment; StampinUp speckled background
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Archival cobalt, black; Hero Arts soft granite
accessories: dimensionals