Sunday, October 31, 2010

One More Twinkling Card

Note: For those who read Simplicity in your email, you may need to scroll down for yesterday's post. I had problems earlier in the week with scheduling (NOT my fault!) but Saturday's was scheduled to post at the wrong time (entirely my fault). My apologies for being a dork.

Our town trick-or-treated last night. I wore a costume to a costume party. There is, however, no photographic evidence. I like it that way.

Halloween and the last week have kicked my butt. I'm whipped. Rode hard and put up wet. Drained to the last drop.

May I please have some cheese to go with that whine? Or perhaps just another fun-size Almond Joy?

Anyway, here's another (and the last for a while...I think) of the Twinkling H2O cards that came out of my last frenzy of play.

I love this bird-in-a-tree stamp from Penny Black. It's a tree. What's not to love? NOTHING. The sentiment is from PTI's Mixed Messages. I highlighted the berries or whatever you want to call them with a Sakura Stardust pen. Hopefully you can see that on the picture. It's just a little extra shimmer.

Can you have too much shimmer?

That was a rhetorical question.

stamps: Penny Black, PTI
ink: Palette dark chocolate
paper: PTI aqua (whatever it's called), SU chocolate chip, Arches hot-press watercolor paper
accessories: Twinkling H2Os, Stardust pen

Friday, October 29, 2010

Proportional Matting

Question from Yesterday: DonnaK asked where I buy Twinkling H2Os. I bought mine at Marco's Paper, a brick and mortar store in the Dayton area. But you can find them at the big craft stores (Michael's, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's) and buy with a coupon!

Now on to today's post, which hopefully Blogger will post in a timely fashion....

Today's Tip is one of those that, on the one hand, seems like a no-brainer, but, on the other hand, makes life so much easier!

After getting sick of doing the same math over and over, I made a simple, handwritten index card, which I posted on my bulletin board right over my workspace, with a list of dimensions for cutting stamped panels to matte evenly on a standard 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" card. It lists the sizes for cutting panels in quarter-inch increments. (Those of you who live in countries where "standard" is different can easily adapt this idea for yourselves.)

I typed it up for those of you using American measures. Hopefully, you can save it and print it for your own use.

If I cut a 4 1/4" x 3" stamped, panel, for instance, all I have to do is move up a quarter inch to get the measurements for a 1/8" matte all the way around the stamped panel. For a thinner 1/16" matte (as on yesterday's card), it's easy enough to just add 1/8" to the dimensions of the stamped panel.

I hope this makes sense.

And here is a happy CAS card that utilized this little chart.

Design Discussion: Please note how I rooted the flowers in the open space provided by the sentiment. I just love the way that looks!!!!
stamps: Shady Tree Studio
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white, SU brilliant blue
accessories: dimensionals.

Personal News: My son Jack, who has high-functioning autism, was released from private occupational therapy Wednesday! After four years, he's finally functionally appropriate for fine motor and hand-eye coordination! YIPPYYYYY! He continues to receive OT through our school district, but this is a wonderful milestone for him to meet...and one less regular therapy session to cart him to! His developmental pediatrician saw Jack yesterday and is blown away by his progress. Jack truly has blossomed in the past six months. He's even one of the best readers in his regular 2nd grade class! Needless to say, we're on Cloud 9 around here right now, and I just had to share!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Using Twinkling Paper in a CAS Layout: Part Three

This is the second day in a row that Blogger has not posted my scheduled post on time. My apologies to all who get Simplicity by email because this means a day's delay in delivery of the feed. Not sure what is going on since everything is scheduled correctly, but I am sorry.

Two questions came up in the comments from yesterday's post.

1. Susan asked if I stamped the images and then punched the squares, or punched and then stamped. Ordinarily, I do stamp first and then punch with the punch positioned upside down so I can see exactly where the image will be. This time, however, I punched first, expecting to leave the squares plain. Once I arranged them on the card (but before I glued them down), I decided the cards needed some random stamping to make them more interesting. As I stamped (over a piece of scrap paper), I thought about how the squares would be arranged and tried to place the images so they would look random and give a sense of movement when placed on the card together.

2. Sue asked why the Merry Christmas image looks better centered while the Happy Autumn looks better on the right. My best guess on this has to do with the fonts. Happy Autumn has initial caps (first letters capitalized) with very strong contrast in height from the caps to lower case, plus a descender of the letter y. By putting the sentiment off-center, that height variation is complemented by the asymmetry. If that sentiment were centered, I think it would look weird because the only "off" thing would be the capitalization because the squares are so evenly lined up.

I LOVE the font of that sentiment, BTW.

The Merry Christmas sentiment, on the other hand, is in all caps. Visually, it's very balanced, as are the squares. That makes it look better centered.

That's my theory, anyway.

Now to today's card....

I thought it would be helpful for new stampers to see a card as it develops, particularly how I place things and how I decide what to do next.

Let's start with the shimmery paper. I stamped my image (shown), then stamped the sentiment (not shown). I cut them out using a quilting ruler and craft knife. I like that because the quilting ruler is transparent with a grid. You can easily get even borders and make sure your stamping is straight if you cut this way.

I also make sure that the proportions of the cut panel will fit on a standard card. This stamped panel is 3" x 4.25"...leaving an even matte when you put it on a standard 4.25" x 5.5" card.

Here's the stamped and cut panel.

Next, I put the panel on an almost amethyst card, but it looked very blah. So I cut a black matte sized 1/8" bigger than the stamped panel (3 1/8" x 4 3/8"). The black really helps anchor the whole thing. So I glued it all down.

The card still looked a little plain, so he next step was to bling it up a bit. I added lavender Stickles to the berries on the branch and attached a sheer white ribbon knot with a glue dot. The shimmery sheer ribbon (from Michael's) is a perfect complement to the shimmery paper. And, well, Stickles doesn't need a reason, does it?

Congratulations to Simplicity reader Amanda B! She won 6 FREE STAMP SETS from Shady Tree Studio's new release. Dang, I wanted to win that one!

Tomorrow, I'm going to post my little chart for matting proportions. It's such a simple little thing to make yourself, but I use it all the time when I go more than one layer, so I thought I'd share.

stamps: SU Garden Silhouettes, Hero Arts sentiment
ink: Memento black
paper: Arches hot press watercolor, SU black and almost amethyst
accessories: Twinkling H2Os, Stickles, sheer ribbon

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

OLW Widget

Please scroll down to see today's card post.

To make it easier for you to find the OLW for the week (whether it's on Simplicity or Styles Ink!), I added a widget at the top of my sidebar with a direct link to the current challenge. Jennifer came up with a great one this week, so be sure to check it out!

Using Twinkling Paper in a CAS Layout: Part Two

Today's cards are a variation on yesterday's use of squares punched from shimmery paper colored with Twinkling H2Os. I used a slightly larger punch (1" rather than 3/4") and six squares rather than three. Each square was stamped with small images appropriate to the color scheme.

For the blue and lavender paper, I used Hero Arts snowflakes and sentiment stamped in Memories soft silver ink. The ink dried very quickly on the shimmery paper, too. I alternated blue and lavender squares to add interest here.

The red and gold paper became a fall card on a PTI vintage cream base. The leaves (Hero Arts) and sentiment (Mark's Finest Papers) were stamped in Palette dark chocolate, and as above, I alternated the colors.

I can't decide if I should have put the Happy Autumn sentiment in the center or not. I rather like it justified right with the edge of the squares. Perhaps I need to put a couple of brown pearls beside the upper left square to balance it, or perhaps the asymmetry works well enough alone. Indecision may or may not be my problem, but I usually err on the side of CAS in cases like this.

I do know that the Merry Christmas sentiment--with all the letters in caps--looks MUCH  better in the center.

Tomorrow's Twinkling card will be something completely different from yesterday's and today's cards. Not a punch in evidence, LOL!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Using Twinkling Paper in a CAS Layout: Part One

Painting an image with Twinkling H2Os (or any watercolor) like I did for yesterday's card is tons of fun but time-consuming. And 'cause y'all know I'm a quick-and-easy stamper at heart, I wanted to show how you can create shimmery paper and use it to make a variety of quick CAS cards. [Note that this technique would work with regular watercolor paints, reinkers, etc.]

I started with a watercolor paper block of Arches hot-press paper. Blocks are sealed on all four sides so all the pages are attached to each other. This means the paper wrinkles less than it would if it were a loose sheet. I use a butter knife to cut the paper off the block after it's totally dry.

Hot-press paper is smooth; cold press is textured. Hot press is MUCH easier to stamp on later, so I mostly use it.

First, I painted plain water on the area I wanted to paint. Then, I started with one color on one side, and while it was still wet, I painted the other color on the other, blending them together in the middle. As you can see on the red/gold side, I got some blooming of the paint, which isn't terribly pretty, but I just worked around that section when I started using the paper.

The two cards I'm sharing today are very minimalist...the CAS-est of the three days of Twinkling Paper I have planned. I used a 3/4" square punch to punch three squares of twinkling paper and stamped a single, small sentiment on the third square. Very shimmery. Very graphic. Very minimalist. *happy sigh*

The cool colors of the lavender and blue are so soft and required a clean, smooth, white base of PTI cardstock. You'll see the red/gold paper above shown on a card tomorrow, but below, I used squares punched from cold-press cardstock treated the same was as above. I used the same cold-press watercolor paper for the card base.

The close-up shows the texture. For stamping a small outline stamp like this, the cold press is okay. But these were scraps saved from a botched attempt to use the cold press with a large block stamp. Ick. Very splotchy and ugly, even though I used a stamping mat and lots of pressure. After salvaging the unstamped areas with a punch, I felt so much better about myself.

Aren't small square punches absolutely the BEST!?!?

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Palette Noir and Dark Chocolate
paper: PTI white, Cold Press and Hot Press watercolor paper
accessories: Twinkling H20s, square punch

Monday, October 25, 2010

Twinkling H2O Poinsettia and Free Stamp Alert

Painting images with Twinkling H2Os is worth the effort. My green Peace card made me happy, but this poinsettia makes me even happier.

I love how the petals, which were painted each separately, have varying amounts of paint for a variagated effect. It adds dimension to the rather stylized image.

How-To Tips: To get this effect, use a piece of Bounty paper towel (Bounty doesn't leave lint) and lots of water with the paint. Fill an embossed area with very wet paint, then touch a corner of the paper towel to the paint. The towel sucks up the excess water and leaves more pigment on the edges and less in the center. Each petal has its own intensity because basically it's impossible to get them all the same anyway. If one looks too light, add more paint, blot, and see what happens.

This poinsettia almost GLOWS with shimmer and warmth!

Free Stamp Alert!!! Shady Tree Studio is offering up to one lucky winner its entire October release of six new stamp sets!! Check it out HERE!

stamps: Papertrey Peaceful Poinsettia
ink: VersaMark
paper: cold press watercolor paper
accessories: dimensionals, gold EP, Twinkling H2Os (hot cinnamon, gold)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hero Arts Pre-Made Cards

A while back, StampinTreasures sent me some free stuff, including a few colors of Hero Arts' pre-made cards and envelopes. The cards are made of two-sided cardstock...colored on one side, white on the other. The two-sided aspect is very classy, and it's fun to play with colored card bases every now and then! 

Design Discussion: Using the border stamp like this helps ground the circle so it's not just floating on the card. Of course, sometimes, I like floaty. Floaty isn't always bad. But in this case, the stamped panel needed to be achored. by stamping the text border in soft blue ink, it's there but not intrusive or busy.

I used three different sets of Papertrey Ink stamps: Honey Bees (flower), Text Style, and Everyday Classics (a limited edition, sentiment). This layout gave me an excuse to use my circle and scallop punches, which are wonderful additions to a CAS-stamper's tool box but too often neglected by me.

What tools are languishing in your tool box?

stamps: Papertrey
ink: Palette noir, VersaColor Atlantic
paper: Hero Arts card, SU brocade blue, white
accessories: circle punch, scallop circle punch, dimensionals, rhinestone

Saturday, October 23, 2010

OLW25 Birds and Bees, Flowers and Trees

Jennifer's OLW25 Challenge was so much fun! I used my brand new Washi tape to make the ground for this Hero Arts flowering tree and I got three of the components onto the card!

The Washi tape isn't as easy to design with as I thought it would be, and this is definitely the best card I've made with it so far. I'm not giving up, though. More on Washi tape later...when I've figured it out.

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Palette dark chocolate, SU markers, real red
paper: pre-made card (5 x 7)
accessories: red gemstones, Washi tape

Friday, October 22, 2010

Photography by Lateblossom

Disclaimer: I am not a photographer. At least not in the sense that my husband is a photographer...he's good and uses a Nikon D-90 SLR and keeps it set on manual and knows what all those knobs and symbols and settings actually mean. I don't use Photoshop, I don't have a light tent, and my camera is a digital point-and-shoot. But I think my photos look good enough for government work, so if you're interested, here's how I do it.

What I Have:

1. Nikon Cool-Pix 10.0 Megapixels, 5X optical zoom

2. Table-top Ott Light, which gives full-spectrum light for (mostly) true colors

3. Two pieces of cardstock in a color to compliment the card being photographed

4. Picasa 3 photo-editing software, downloaded for free HERE

What I Do:

1. Select cardstock to match the card I'm photographing.

2. Set up the cardstock, Ott light, and card as shown in this photograph:

This is what a low-budget set looks like.

3. Make sure the camera is set to Macro (the Tulip icon). This setting allows you to take close-up pictures that are much clearer than if you leave the camera on the default setting. Also, make sure the flash is suppressed (the icon of the slash through the lightning bolt). The flash creates harsh shadows that are hard to edit out, and the Ott light gives plenty of light when aimed at the card as shown.

4. Snap the photo. I rarely zoom all the way into the card. Here's the unedited photo for this card.

5. Download the photo to your computer and open it in Picasa to the Edit function.

6. First, crop your photo so there's a pleasing margin around it. Cropping is the first option under the "Basic Fixes" tab to the left of the photo.

7. Then, click on the "Auto Contrast" function (also under the "Basic Fixes" tab). About half the time, this will give you fine results with no further tinkering. The other half of the time, you'll need to undo the "Auto Contrast" because it will make the card look over-exposed or too dark. If that's the case, click the "Undo Auto Contrast" button and then click the "Tuning" tab.

8. Under "Tuning," you can slide bars for fill light, high lights, shadows, and color temperature. I just dink around with each until the photo looks bright and the colors are as accurate to real life as I can make them.

9. Once everything is as good as it's going to get, I export the photo to a folder I titled Resized Photos. (To Export, just click the Export button under the photo.) When you use the Export function in Picasa, a box called Export to Folder pops up that allows you to choose the folder to export to and gives you the option of resizing. I size mine to 640 pixels, which seems to give good clarity on the blog without being so big that it takes forever to upload. The Export to Folder box also has a watermark option. This is NOT a fancy watermark function. I just add a simple "copyright Susan Raihala" line. (Watermarks are a whole 'nuther kettle of fish!)

10. Click "export" and your photo is ready to upload to your blog or to SCS or to wherever in the World Wide Web you want to upload it. Here's the final result:

This card, which I LOVE!, was embossed with gold EP on cold-press watercolor paper and painted using Douglas Fir Twinkling H2Os. The stamp, by Rubber Stampede (c 2003), is lovely embossed and left alone, but the colors and shimmer of the Twinkling H2Os really make it festive.

I hope this tutorial helps those of you struggling to get decent photos. For those who want outstanding photos (and not just of cards), I encourage you to study Pioneer Woman's photography blog. That woman has the magic touch for Photoshop, plus you get to see her photos of ranch life. It's enough to make this city slicker want to run away from home and become a cowgirl.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Drumroll, Please

The winner of the Prismacolor Gold metallic marker is Cassandra, who wrote:

Embossing powder is what I use, mostly because I don't have any of the other products (quite amazing for me really). I love what you have achieved on Snow Swirled, my favourite SU set, so will give the smooch a go. You weren't wrong about a long post, should have grabbed my cup of tea first.

October 19, 2010 1:00 AM

The winner of the gold lame Smooch is Heather T, who wrote,

I don't really have any helpful advice to give as I am currently searching for a suitable marker/product for adding gold and silver. Thanks for your helpful advice.

October 19, 2010 10:41 PM

Cassandra and Heather T, please email me at susanraihala at woh dot rr dot com with your snail mail addresses so I can mail your goodies out to you!!!!!

Thanks, everyone, for participating in the Gold and Silver post. What a great resource your comments have created!

Bee Happy

In my previous life as an academic intellectual, I despised puns. Now, however, I'm starting to like them. Or at least not despise them. And sometimes, I can actually use one without feeling like grading the card in red ink with a big, fat F.

Such is the case today with these adorable bees from Hero Arts. LOVE them! (By the way, in my previous life as an academic intellectual, I never used all caps or exclamation points, either. My goodness, how the snob has fallen!)

I made this card from bits and pieces I found in my tin of bits and pieces...punched and/or stamped pieces that have been sitting in a tin for months (or years) just waiting to be used. I'd made about five or six of the heart circles with the gemstones long ago, and, at another time, had stamped, colored, and punched the bees. When I dumped the tin out last week, bees fell next to the heart circles and INSPIRATION!!!!!

(More all caps and exclamation points. Have I no shame? No, not really. This blog isn't, after all, the Publication of the Modern Language Association or the Journal of Medieval Studies. How many of you would be here if it were one of those revered and respected scholarly journals? Yeah, I thought so. Typographical shouting and punctuational enthusiasm add charm to my current life as a stamp-obsessed, stay-at-home-mommy blogger. Go, me!)

Tomorrow, I'm posting about photographing cards, which seems really strange because I don't feel my photos are anywhere close to the quality of, say, Julie Ebersole's or Joan B's. But for those of you who are novice photographers with limited equipment and next to no photo editing skills, well, I'm here for you. Or will be tomorrow.

Don't forget about OLW25! There are some amazing cards already posted to Jennifer's challenge, and I'm hoping to play sometime today. I have the perfect stamp!!!

There I go again. Let's hear it for egregious punctuation!

stamps: Hero Arts, Papertrey Ink (sentiment from Honey Bees)
ink: Palette Noir, SU markers in amethyst and celery
paper: PTI white, SU amethyst
accessories: heart and circle punches, rhinestone, dimensionals, scallop scissors to round the corners a bit

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

One-Layer Wednesday on Styles Ink

Jennifer Styles has this week's One-Layer Wednesday Challenge up, and it's a great one! Click to her post HERE for details!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Taking the Easy Way Out and Proud of It!

Okay, I've started to feel much more confident with my coloring lately, and I admit that I don't feel like a bumbling idiot doing it anymore. Also, the results can be hugely wonderful on CAS cards (consider this cardinal!).

But I still LOVE taking the easy way out and using outline images like this:

Oh, yeah. Uh-huh. Doin' the happy dance!

How-To Tips: This card is 4.25" square and uses Shady Tree Studios stamps. Not all outline stamps are this easy to put multiple ink colors on...markers give a blotchy effect on clear stamps that is sometimes what you want, and sometimes not. Definitely not on this card because these stamps are so crisp and clean. So I used the dew-drop Memento pads to put grape jelly on the flowers and bamboo on the stems and leaves and ground. One impression, and PRESTO! You're done. Well, you still have to stamp the sentiment, but you get the picture.

Take a look at your outline stamps and give this a try!

Question: Would you like me to put product reviews on Simplicity?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

OLW24 Hosted by Jennifer Styles!

Jennifer Styles is hosting the OLW this week, and I took a few minutes to play along. Literally just a few minutes, because for once, a card popped into my head and all I had to do was make it. The challenge is to make a winter holiday card without using a white, cream, red, or green base.

I confess I had to make this card twice, because my first choice of ink colors didn't quite work with the blush blossom cardstock. Is your blush blossom ink more orange than blush? Well, mine is. So I tried again with the VersaColor cinnamon and old rose, and BINGO!

Design Discussion: These stamps are from Art Impressions. I picked them up years ago for 90% off at a scrapbook store going-out-of-business sale. I've tried to make things with them a few times, but nothing really worked like I wanted it to. This time, it came together so easily! One layer, visual triangle of snowflakes (which I had to use a positioner for because the flake is crooked on the wood block and it bothered me), monochromatic color scheme, bling: these all worked for me!

Note: This also works for the Hope You Can Cling To challenge at SCS. Many thanks to Lydia for telling me about it!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

One-Layer Wednesday Break

For the last six weeks, my ability to comment on OLW submissions has been extremely intermittent. I feel  just terrible that many of you have taken the time to upload cards and link to them without my being able to thank you properly with a comment. Life has gotten extremely busy, I'm not writing as much as I want for my other two blogs, and something has got to give. Actually, several somethings have to give, LOL!

For the next two weeks, we won't have an OLW challenge. In November, I'll try to resume them but instead of weekly, we'll try every two weeks. In the meantime, I hope to be able to go back and comment on the last month's entries and make time to appreciate just how talented and dedicated you all are!

Some time Wednesday I'll try to put the Gratitude Collection InLinkz stuff on the sidebar in place of the OLW challenge. Remember that the Gratitude Collection will continue through the end of November, so you can link any thank you, thankful for you, and Thanksgiving cards there.

Also, rest assured that my daily posts here will continue. I've got a bunch of card pictures already loaded onto my computer and ready to go. Also, I had promised someone to do a post on the book ornaments I posted a while back, as well as one on taking photos (a subject I feel totally inadequate to discuss, but hey, that's never stopped me before!). These will be coming up, too.

I am really sorry about this but know that y'all understand.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Shady Tree Studios and Paper Talk

Shady Tree Studios has some awesome stamps available in its first release, and I bought one set, and Nancy, the owner, sent me one for free.

Free stuff is so much fun! Especially when it's high-quality photopolymer. Y'all know how I am about clear cheapy silicone ones allowed in my craft room. I have standards.

Here's my first card with these stamps. I wanted to use my scalloped circle punch to matte because the stamp's curvy lines invited that. Plus, I've not used those punches in forever and feel a bit guilty about that.

The thing that has impressed me about these outline stamps is just how easy it is to color them. I've played around with colored pencils, SU markers, and (on this card) Sharpie/Bics. Every one yielded great results, even in the hands of a very inexperienced colorer like me. Most importantly, I had FUN. Mainly because the areas to color are all small. I really don't like big open spaces to color and shade. It's just easier to work on a small scale. And that's what these stamps give you.

How To Tips: I used sharpies and bics to color these...two shades of green and two of aqua/teal. The centers of the flowers are blinged with Stickles Turquoise. The rick rack makes a fun grass. The sentiment is from Papertrey's Mixed Messages. The whole card is 5" square. I have envelopes from Marco's to fit that size.

Questions about Paper:
People have been asking about my white cardstock. I almost always use Papertrey Select white and vintage cream for card bases. These papers are very sturdy, and because they have a bit of tooth (are not smooth like SU's whisper white), they feel so rich and luxurious. I use a Scor-Pal to fold them because they are so thick. I'm starting to experiment with some other papers, but most of them are just not as thick as I would like, so I keep reaching for Papertrey.  Fabriano Medievalis (I know I'm spelling that wrong...sorry) is also wonderful, with a watercolor look and nice and thick. I've been hoarding my cards of that and need to get them out and use them!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Winners for the Week of Gratitude

The winner of the shadow ink pads and Card Style magazine is from Mary Dawn's first post of the week:

Beach Girl 115 said
What a beautiful story! The front desk staff at schools are often unappreciated, so I think your card will make her day.
9/27/2010 10:29 PM

Beach Girl, contact Mary Dawn on her blog with your snail mail so she can send you your prize!

The winner of the $25 gift certificate for Shady Tree Studio is from my third post of the week:

Jen said...
I LOVE your card. I'm so lucky to have found your wonderful blog!!! I'm so excited to see all of your wonderful cards. I signed up to get your emails and became a follower. Your work is beautiful!!!
September 29, 2010 10:43 AM

Thanks, Jen! Please send me an email at susanraihala at woh dot rr dot com to claim your prize!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Knock on Wood

Last week was a big week for new stuff.

First, Mark's Finest sent me a huge selection of their new papers, charms, a bottle of gold Smooch, and a pad of Basic Gray fall paper (I've already made a batch of cards with that...yes, I used DP on cards and I didn't even swear once!).

Second, I received a RAK from girlgeek101 and Janet that included some super duper bling, gorgeous decorated pebbles, and a pack of Glimmer Mist (three colors and pearl!). Y'all are soooo sweet and generous and kind!

Third, Nancy at Shady Tree sent me my order and included a free set in the package, too!

Fourth, the new issue of Papercrafts appeared in my mailbox. 

Fifth, I went to Michael's. Didn't spend much, but got some pretty cool new stuff, including a MS bow punch and the product highlighted in today's card.

But let's back up a bit first. Last year for Christmas, I received this store-bought card from my aunt and uncle.

Isn't it wonderful?!?! It's even more wonderful when you consider that my aunt is a master wood-worker. She builds furniture. And somehow, she still has all her fingers. Knock on wood.

So when I saw a sheet of cherry wood at Michael's (on sale, no less!), I knew I would have to make a card for her. So I did.

I was born on her birthday, and she's always said I was the best birthday present Mom ever gave her. Isn't that special? Well, it makes me feel loved. We all need to feel loved, and I sure hope my aunt does when she gets this card next month.

How-To Tips: The wood veneer is backed with paper to give it stability and punches beautifully, but the paper backing is slick (I thought at first it was adhesive backing, but apparently not...bummer). To glue it, I needed to use Scotch brand liquid tacky glue because the glue pen didn't work at all. The dark centers of the flowers were stamped circles (VersaColor Pinecone) on the wood, then punched out. I drew the lines with a Zig marker and L ruler, and the birthday stamp is from PTI's Mega Mixed Messages.

stamps: PTI, Hero Arts (circles)
ink: VersaColor
paper: PTI white, cherry wood
accessories: circle punches, flower punches, L ruler, Zig marker

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Happy World Card Making Day!

Because I live in my own little world where puppies poop rainbows, and the sky is grass green and the grass is sky blue, and cuttlebugs and big shots don't exist, I didn't realize it was WCMD. Until, of course, I checked out Joan B's blog Paperlicious. I may not be on the cutting edge of papercrafting, but I'm perfectly happy to be the last person to realize announce that it is World Card Making Day.

Go, me.

May your stamping today always be straight and every idea you have turn out even better in real life than it was in your head.

Thankful for You

Thank you all for playing along with Mary Dawn and me in A Week of Gratitude! Don't forget that the Gratitude Collection will be open for additions until the end of November. You'll be able to easily find the post by checking the Labels for Gratitude Collection. It'll take you right there. Winners of the give-away will be announced on Monday. Yippy!!!!

And today's card is for you.

Thank you so much for making Simplicity a fun place! Your encouragement, comments, emails, and cards keep me going. I am, indeed, deeply thankful for you.