Thursday, February 27, 2014

OLS Details

No card from me tonight, but click over to the One-Layer Simplicity Challenge to see the "Details" post for OLS#2-Can You Repeat That?

The Details posts on the OLS blog will be posted after the challenge closes on the 24th of the month. Some members of the design team will highlight several cards each and tell you what details in that card make it stand out. These posts are an excellent way to be inspired!

For February, Heather, Karen, Ardyth, and I each spotlighted three cards, so you have twelve awesome cards to check out in one post!

Go! Soak up the inspiration!

And many, many thanks to all who are participating in our OLS challenge. There are so many amazing cards that we all had a REALLY hard time picking just three each. To see ALL 104 OLS#2 cards, go HERE.

And on March 1st, Karen's challenge will be posted. Hmmm. What will she come up with?!?!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Can Boys Handle Bling?

An interesting question. Someone (Virginia, was it you?) had a card published in Paper Crafts' special issue of guy cards only after she remade it without bling.

Seriously? Boys can't handle a bit of bling?

Of course, this card has a bit more than a bit of bling, but still. My 12-year-old nephew would love it. My four-year-old nephew would pretend it was a gun and yell "pewpewpew" while pointing it at my sister, who would send me an angry text about corrupting her tender young man with shiny weapons.

Just kidding. But if she did that, I would totally learn how to do a screen shot on my phone so I could share it with you. Because it would be hysterical.

My sister is funny...but not that funny.

Anywho, I'm off to bed after an exhausting day of helping with junior high show choir's production of Guys and Dolls, in which my son has one line and several songs. Middle schoolers are a funny bunch. Very loud.

Rest well.

stamps: Borders and Arrows (Hero Arts), some random and cool birthday sentiment, probably Gina K's Hello Sunshine set but I might be wrong there. I'm tired
ink: Memento (including pear tart...chuckle)
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: lots of bling

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I Love Y'all!

Comments on my last post are brilliant. If you haven't read them, I'll wait while you do.

Are you back? Good.

First of all, let me say thank you for reassuring me I'm not alone in my "over-stimulation" (Mynn's phrase). Also, yes, I "can change the rule" (senga44's words), and I should have at least temporarily suspended it for this particular buying binge. But the rule has served my purposes very well for a long time.

It's just the, ahem, abundance of my recent ordering that it became a problem.

Angie brought up a good point. Some rules do box us in and stifle creativity. BUT I would argue that other rules really do help us out by encouraging creativity. Under my ordinary buying patterns, my rule about not putting sets away until I use them is a very good rule. Knowing I'm going to have to use a set immediately means I buy stuff that I want to use immediately. Generally, this is exciting and makes me overflow with creative ideas. Placing so many orders in such a small span of time, however, changed the situation...but I didn't let the rule change, too. My bad.

Missoula Gal Pals wrote this wise comment:

"I too make 'rules' to craft by and sometimes it helps me focus in on all the fun and sometimes it feels too confining. Since the 1st of the year I've been trying eliminate the 'should's' and 'have to's' in the crafting part of my life and gently telling myself over and over - 'this is about having fun and expanding my creative energy.'"

In other words, rules can enhance our creativity and energy, and we need to pay attention to the ones that don't and change them. Princess Judy Palmer says the same thing: "This year I've decided any 'rule' or 'obligation' that stifles my creativity or stresses me out over what is to be a fun hobby is to be ditched immediately."

Y'all have no idea how comforting your comments have been!

And now for a card that duplicates the layout of THIS CARD, but looks significantly different because of colors and stamps. I just love how the same basic idea could be tweaked to result in so different a card.

 The border was made using the row of dots from Hero Arts Borders and Arrows set. I alternated shades of red ink (Hero Arts) to add interest and used two shades of red bling (although the dark red looks blackish in the real life, it's dark red!). The sentiment is stamped in Hero Arts' dark gray ink.

The first version of the card is light, bright, airy. This one is grounded, colorful, strong. I like them both. How about you?

stamps: Hero Arts Borders and Arrows, Papertrey Signature Greeting
ink: Hero Arts
paper: Papertrey
accessories: rhinestones, dimensionals

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Funky Layout and Some Musings on Unintended Stupidity

Here's a layout that popped into my head one day. No idea from whence it came, but I was glad it did!

What makes this work for me is how the horizontal sentiment is the focal point, while the vertical accent contains diagonal lines and curvy hearts. There is so much going on here, but it's taking place in such a small area surrounded by so much white space that it has a clean, fresh feel to it.

Happy sigh!

And now for unintended consequences stupidity. If you're not interested in my blatherings, feel free to quit reading. You won't hurt my feelings.

Well, maybe a little. But I'll survive.

Anyway, one of my favorite "rules" I imposed in my craft space is this one: no stamp set will every be put away in my stash until every image in it is used. This is such a good rule, don't you think?

Yeah, I thought so, too, until the past three months.

After years of very limited stamp buying, I went a little nuts and bought a whole bunch of new stamps during and after the holidays. This indulgence was planned and budgeted for, by the way, so don't think I fell off some sort of wagon. I had fun spending money again!

But using all those new stamps has felt like a chore, not a blessing. It's not the stamps' fault at all. While I in no way regret my several-year spending hiatus, I do wish I'd spread out the several-month spending spree more. For some stupid reason, I felt like I had to use all those new stamps before I could do anything else.  And it has dragged out so long that I feel rather burned out.

I know, I know. First-world problem. But there it is.

Does anyone else ever feel this way? It's not buyer's remorse, exactly, because I truly love most of what I got. But the pressure (self-imposed and stupid, I know) to use all that glorious goodness took away some of the fun. I think I need to find some sense of balance, but honestly, shouldn't I be smarter than this? Please tell me I'm not alone. Perhaps some of you on design teams will feel the same when you get a big shipment to work with in a short period of time.

stamps: Papertrey (sentiment), Lily Bee Memorandum
ink: not sure, maybe Hero Arts...probably Hero Arts, but maybe Memento...I can't be sure...sorry
paper: white
accessories: not a one

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Hearts and Hexes

After months and months of focusing heavily on one-layer cards, I find my scrap paper drawer is as full as it's ever been. Expect to see lots of two-layer, white-on-white cards in the coming months as I work through the pile.

This hexagon border stamp comes from Hero Arts Borders and Arrows set, and it's stamped in a light bluish gray. I stamped it three times on the scrap, then added the sentiment (Hero Arts Year Round Sentiments) in black.

At that point, I was stumped. What would make that design look interesting? Coloring was out of the question because the outlines were too light and tolerance for my klutzy coloring. (I prefer coloring inside thick, black lines that hide my sloppiness!)

At the time, round bling just didn't seem appropriate with the hexagonal shapes, although looking at it now, I suspect it would work just fine. Angles love curves, after all.

When I'm stuck for an idea, I generally peruse my embellishment drawers, and when I got to the red drawer, I saw these fun heart gems and thought, "Why not?"

Indeed. Hexes and hearts.

Won't this be a perfect card for a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine to send to his/her significant other? It's already been sent to OWH.

And that's all I have to say about that.

stamps: Hero Arts Borders and Arrows, Year Round Sentiments
ink: VersaColor
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: red heart rhinestones, dimensionals, corner rounder

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cards I've Received Lately

Today's post is all about thanking those of you who've brightened my mail lately with beautiful cards! There are actually a few more that I've not photographed yet, so don't worry if you sent something and it's not here. Your lovelies will make it into the next thank you post!

You have absolutely no idea how much I appreciate these or the lift they continue to give me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

From Darla P.

From Leslie B., who couldn't possibly know that most of the cards
I sent before making cards came from the WWF.

Lisa I. and her German shepherd Annie sent this lovely card
along with a bag full of homemade
dog treats for Daisy

Isn't Annie beautiful?!? And so kind to share
with Daisy!

From Anne B., who also sent this magnet/bookmark, whose message
I need every single day:

Many thanks to all of you who have sent cards, but also those who have sent emails expressing your support and appreciation for this blog and my others.

Thank you all so very much.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Value--and Challenge--of a Good Black Ink

Be still, my heart. Memento Luxe tuxedo black ink is lovely. Check it out.

I trimmed this card down after stamping my banner a bit too high on
the standard card. It looks much better. Trust me.

The crisp, dense black is gorgeous. Click on the pic to see it bigger. The pennants are stamped in Memento Luxe pear tart and rose bud. This ink is creamy and thick and wonderful.

It has only one drawback: it dries slowly.

THUD. I've already ruined three otherwise perfect cards by smearing the black ink before it dried. After years of primarily using quick-drying Memento (no-Luxe) black ink, getting used to drying time is hard, hard, hard.

Impatience may or may not be my problem. So I'm teaching myself to set cards aside for drying rather than handling them immediately. I'm a slow learner.

What about you? Does your ink have you well-trained, or do you stick with quick-drying inks?

stamps: Mama Elephant Trifecta, Hero Arts Year-Round Sentiments
ink: Memento Luxe
paper: white #110 card
accessories: black gemstones

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

No Wine Chugging Needed

Fortunately, Tuesday's school day started on time, with roads merely wet, not icy. Whew. Instead, I had a meeting at church to plan our new photo directory (fun) and got a massage (even more fun).

So all's well that ends well.

Today's card is a colorful yet weird design. I really liked it at first, but later, it dawned on me that the lines could be seen as very colorful bars to some sort of rainbow-and-jewel prison for puppies and fairies and unicorns. And then I thought it would be fun to be in that prison, sentenced to death by puppy breath.

See? My brain can go weird places entirely without the influence of alcohol.

Still, I used that line stamp from Hero Arts Notebook Essentials, so go, me!!!

stamps: Hero Arts Notebook Essentials, Papertrey Happy Trails
ink: Memento
paper: white
accessories: rhinestones

Monday, February 17, 2014

Border Punches Can Be Fun!

Here's a cute use for this fabulous fence border punch that I haven't used in, oh, forever.

This card reminds me that spring will come, despite the fact that the wind is whistling through the eaves of my house and sleet it pecking at my windows.

Flowers will bloom.

Not soon enough.

We may be facing a school delay or cancellation tomorrow. Here's a little snippet of dialog between me and my hubs this evening.

Me: If school is delayed or cancelled tomorrow, I'm pitching a toddler fit.
George: Just open a bottle of wine and chug it. You won't be driving anywhere anyway.

If I don't post tomorrow, it'll be because I can't see straight.

To all my readers in the path of winter weather, stay warm and safe.

stamps: Papertrey Turning a New Leaf, Beautiful Blooms II, Birthday Basics
ink: Hero Arts
paper: Papertrey Ink white
accessories: fence border punch, glue pen, rhinestones

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pushing Boundaries

In my latest flurry of buying, I purchased a cute set from Papertrey that just isn't turning out to fit my style. I've not quite given up on it but put it aside while I ponder it some more. Another set that stretches my boundaries of style is Hero Arts Notebook Essentials. Instead of my usual crisp, clean style, this set features broad, sketchy images.

I had a bit more success with it than I did the Papertrey set. Here's my first card to share, which also uses a watercolor/ink technique I'd not used in, oh, forever.

First, I stamped the row of circles repeatedly (so I'll be linking up to the OLS#2 Challenge!) with Hero Arts stone washed and green hills inks, and then grabbed my water brush (which is similar to these), squeezed water into the bristles, and dabbed the ink pad to lift some color. Then, I sloppily (my artist mother would say "loosely") added color in the circles.

Finally, I stamped "hi" using Hero Arts Typewriter alphabet with the gorgeously rich Memento Luxe tuxedo black ink.

This works for me.

How do you push your own artistic boundaries, stretch your style, think outside your box, step outside your comfort zone? Do you even bother? "Loose" is tough for me, and perhaps clean and crisp is tough for you. I'm glad we have so many choices to play with. Why don't you celebrate your artistic freedom on Presidents Day? Push your boundaries and do something different.

It's fun! Unless, of course, it's frustrating. But in that case, just throw your frustration in the trash can. No one needs to know.

stamps: Hero Arts Notebook Essentials, Typewriter alphabet
ink: Hero Arts, Memento Luxe
paper: Papertrey Ink
accessories: water brush

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Love in the Time of Cool Fonts

I ordered a new set from CASual Fridays and love, love, love the fonts.

Plus, my son is performing in Guys and Dolls in a few weeks. I keep singing this line in my head, but in my grandmother's voice because she used to sing it to me all the time when I was little.

Ah, memories.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. Have a lovely weekend!

stamps: CASual Friday Only You, Papertrey Heart Prints
ink: Memento Luxe black, Memento angel pink
paper: Neenah 110# white
accessories: Hero Arts hearts, corner rounder

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ink Storage: It Isn't Hoarding if You Use It

As a neat-and-tidy organizer of stuff, I have always been stymied by ink pads. They share the same flaw that stamps have: there is no standard size, shape, or form to make storage easy. Some pads are shaped like dew drops, some like cat's eyes, some like cubes, some like ovoids, and some like whatever you call 3D rectangles. Blocks? I don't know and haven't had enough coffee to look the answer up on that Google thing, but some pads come in different sizes of rectangle with different features like flip lids or detachable lids or grooves to make holding them easier. And then there are Ancient Page inks. Good grief. Why did they put curves on the sides of the rectangles?!?

It's an OCD nightmare.

Anyway, there are very expensive and very beautiful, wooden ink pad holders that I would love to buy, but DANG. The money! I would rather buy ink pads. So with my low-cost, low-class solution to the problem of ink pad storage, I've found a way to have my ink pads and use them, too.

Sterilite storage drawers. The drawers slide out easily (no pesky catches), fit in two towers on my desk, and allow me to organize my inks by 1) type of ink, and 2) color.

Pictures are better than words.

A. Water-resistant Dye Inks

B. Shimmery Pigment Inks of the Fast-Drying Variety

C. Fast-drying Pigment Inks That Don't Shimmer but Look Great Anyway

D. Spectrum Ink Pads

E. Odd Inks I Don't Use Very Often for Various Reasons But Still Need

F. StampinUp Colors I Can't Part With

I pull out drawers as needed and stack them on my desk. It's so easy to move the light-weight drawers around, slide them back into place, and keep track of everything. Sorting by ink type means I never have more than three drawers out at once because I don't generally mix inks.

I DO USE all my inks. As with everything else in my stash, I cull periodically and get rid of whatever isn't working for me. This keeps my ink collection fresh and useful, not to mention so very pretty. Don't you just enjoy staring at all those wonderful colors!!??!

If you want to know more about types of inks and which brands I prefer (and why), check out my tabbed page on Favorite Products. Always remember that one person's experience may not be the same as another's. If you're thinking about trying a new kind of ink, I recommend buying just a couple of colors and experimenting. That's what I did with distress inks, which turned out not to be for me. I was only out a few dollars and learned my lesson the easy way!

Now it's your turn. How do you store your inks? Have you invested in an expensive wooden storage, or do you use cheap baskets? How do you sort your brand, color, type? Inquiring minds, and all that.

Monday, February 10, 2014


Quick post tonight. Here's another card for One-Layer Simplicity #2, Can You Repeat That?

This card, along with 67 others, shipped off to Operation Write Home today. And if you're at all curious as to what happened to me at the Post Office today, please click over to my other blog, Transforming Common Days, for a neat little story.

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Hero Arts
paper: Papertrey
accessories: none

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Birthday White

Y'all know I love white space, but lately there's been a bit too much white space outside my windows in the form of snow. Snow. Snow. Snow.

We're getting more snow today, which is the day after I wasted a bunch of white card stock making what my friend Leslie calls "pretty trash." Ugh. Pretty white trash in my white waste basket, pretty white cold stuff falling out my window, piling up on more white stuff that's been there a while. White is everywhere. The good, the bad, the trash.

I have no idea where I'm going with this lament (no doubt it's the result of an annoying cold virus that's taken residence in my head), but the following birthday card makes me embrace the white.

I decided to try something a bit funky with the dotted line in Lily Bee's Memorandum set, and this is what happened. GLITTER!

This would, by the way, qualify for the One-Layer Simplicity Challenge this month...except for the punched shape, which, technically, makes this a two-layer card.

Thanks so much to all who commented on this post about their favorite white card stock. Isn't it just the most wonderful thing that we have so many good options for card stock? Next up, I'm going to talk some more about inks and ink storage and such. Put on your thinking cats (*giggle*) and be prepared to share your ideas on that pesky subject soon.

When it comes to ink, I think we all need as much advice as we can get.

stamps: Lily Bee Memorandum, Papertrey Birthday Basics, Hero Arts circle
ink: Hero Arts green hills, Memento Luxe black
paper: Papertrey
accessories: daisy punch, Doodlebug lime glitter, glue pen, dimensional

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tweaking a Design

These tweaking posts always yield interesting comments because what I consider an improvement, some of you inevitably consider a dis-improvement. Everyone is entitled to her (or his) opinion, which is why the world is such a fun place. Feel free to disagree with me, but I'm always right and you know it.

Yeah, right.

(Seriously, we need a sarcasm font!)

Anyway, here's the first card I made with my drop-dead gorgeous Hero Arts map stamp.

The ink is VersaMagic aloe vera, which is a nice, soft green, with charcoal VersaColor ink for the sentiment. It's not a bad card at all, but the sentiment seems a bit too dark, and the border around the map is so tiny that it makes the whole card feel a bit cramped.

So I re-made the card with a lighter inks, different colors, and bling instead of pearls. Oh, and a wider mat of white around it all. Much better! Well, at least it looks more like I made it.

As you can see, I trimmed almost all the border off the stamped panel to make the mat wider, and the whole thing feels so much less cramped as a result. The map is stamped in VersaMagic sea breeze, which is a lovely light blue, and I colored the bling to match with Sharpies. The sentiment works better in a warm brown than the charcoal of the first card. (This brown is VersaMagic jumbo java.) Brown and pastels always look nice together.

I gave this card to my darling husband. I bought this stamp, in fact, because he loves maps and I love him. But I digress.

So, do you disagree with me? Does the green one float your boat, or are you true blue in your sailing preference?

stamps: Hero Arts map background, Papertrey sentiment
ink: VersaColor and VersaMagic
paper: Papertrey
accessories: pearls, rhinestones, dimensionals

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Memory Lapse

In yesterday's review post, I commented about the Kaleidacolor pads being hard to use with larger stamps, but I forgot about this card I made last week after my new Hero Arts background map stamp arrived.

Gay of Crafty Musings reminded me about this simple technique for using big stamps with those awkward pads in the comments of yesterday's post. (Definitely click to Gay's blog...she's a wonderfully talented stamper!)

To make this card, all I did was ink the top part of the stamp first, then rotate it 180 degrees, ink again, and then stamp. I trimmed out a strip of the whole background, popped it with dimensionals, and stamped the sentiment after inking it on the Kaleidacolor pad so its colors would continue the ones beside it on the map. If you look closely, you'll see that the top of the "l" is purple-blue, not green.

I love all the movement on the stamp generated by the lines of magnetic declination...which is weird because they clutter up the map. The contrast, however, between the colorful, cluttered, sorta visually wild image and crisp, clean, white card really works well, don't you think?

I prefer top folds on portrait-oriented cards, but when making cards for Operation Write Home, side folds allow the troops to see the card front when it's stuffed into an envelope the way that Sandy wants them stuffed.

Thanks, Gay, for reminding me about this little trick.

stamps: Hero Arts (map), Papertrey Ink (sentiment, Happy Trails)
ink: Kaleidacolor
paper: Papertrey Ink
accessories: dimensionals

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Quickie Reviews and a Card Stock Comparison

It's been a while since I reviewed anything...but then, it's been a while since I bought much new stuff. Since Christmas, I have been on a spending bender that probably ended today with a significant purchase at Marco's Paper, a bit of brick-and-mortar paper-crafting heaven. Here's some of what I bought.

Surprisingly (because I already have so many), I've been buying a lot of ink pads lately. Not sure why, except that the gray dreariness of an Ohio winter probably makes colorful inks particularly appealing. I've stocked up on a bunch of Hero Arts colors for no other reason than they are pretty, but Marco's had these cheerful pads calling my name.

Here are my quickie reviews of these two inks:

1. Kaleidacolor spectrum pads: Love them. They are juicy with bright colors. I find the monochromatic pads the most appealing, but the Melon Melody above was irresistibly citrusy and made my mouth water. Because the ink in these is watery, the case is designed to separate the five pads of ink for storage so they don't get muddy. To use these pads, you slide a plastic handle until all five pads are snuggled up together, and then ink your stamp. I find patting the stamp repeatedly with tiny shifts left and right over the pads blends the ink beautifully for a spectrum effect.

These pads have limited usefulness for inking really large stamps because the plastic sliding mechanism that separates the colors for storage gets in the way. Some people ink up a brayer and then ink the stamp with the brayer (I find this messy and wasteful of ink, but that's my OCD talking), but still, if your stamp is wider than the brayer, it's a challenge. Also, if you only want one color, you have to use a pretty small stamp. With those caveats, I give these pads two thumbs up.

2. Memento Luxe: I'm in love. (Yes, I am an ink slut. Bet you are, too!) These pigment inks (in the same colors as the regular Memento inks) are rich, vibrant, densely colorful, and just plain gorgeous. The black is utterly opaque on white card stock and incredibly beautiful. Luxe inks dry faster than plain pigment inks, but not quite as fast as, say, VersaColor or Brilliance inks. I find this mildly annoying. The lids fit tightly, which is nice for keeping the pads juicy. I haven't tried these on fabric yet, but the case says heat-setting makes it permanent. Awesome!

And now for my comparison of Papertrey Stamper's Select white card stock and Neenah 110# Solar White Cover card stock.

I've used Papertrey white card stock for years. I love the thickness of it, especially for one-layer cards. I love the way StampinUp Real Red dries nearly instantly on it. I love the feel of it. Love, love, love it.

Today, I bought a 25-sheet pack of Neenah Solar White at Marco's for more money than I should have but I didn't really care. I figured if I liked it, I'd buy a whole ream and save big, right? Whatever. Anyway, I'm having a really hard time picking a favorite between the two.

The only real differences appear to be that Hero Arts ink does slightly--and I do mean slightly--better on the Neenah, while Ancient Page does slightly--and I do mean slightly--better on Papertrey. These variations could simply be the result of more ink on the stamps or more/less pressure applied in the stamping rather than any intrinsic difference in the paper.

The colors seem a bit more intense in general on the Neenah (take a look at the Brilliance and VersaMagic samples in particular), but when I flipped the card stocks over, I noticed the Hero Arts image was slightly visible through the Neenah but not the Papertrey. None of the other inks showed through to the back of the Neenah at all, so it may just be that I over-inked the stamp for that impression.

I tested a Copic on both Papertrey and Neenah, and it bled through on both. If you're going to color with alcohol-based markers on a one-layer card, use Gina K's heaviest deluxe white card stock. That will NOT bleed through no matter how much blending you do because it is coated.

I'll be darned if I can tell a difference in how the Papertrey and the Neenah card stocks feel. They also seem to be the same weight...Papertrey's site doesn't specify the weight of its paper. Both are very heavy and require scoring to fold cleanly.

The Neenah is available by the ream (250 sheets) and works out to about $0.18 per sheet from the Paper Mill but is much higher in smaller packs ($0.37 per sheet in a 50-sheet pack from Marco's), while the Papertrey is about $0.15 per sheet in 40-sheet packs.

My conclusion: if you're looking for a good white card stock for card bases, either Papertrey or Neenah Solar White 110# Cover will serve you quite nicely.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Please feel free to share your own experiences and opinions about Kaleidacolor Inks, Memento Luxe inks, Papertrey's Stamper's Select, and Neenah Solar White 110# card stock. I'm fully aware that individual results may vary, and my readers deserve multiple opinions!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Little Birdie Says Hello

The grid stamp from Lily Bee's Memorandum set adds a fun and fresh pattern to this little birdie!

I'm having problems with Blogger...again. It won't let me upload photos from my computer. So frustrating sometimes! I fear the resolution on this photo is too low as a result of my work-around, and hope the "Hello" doesn't look as pixelated to you as it does to me. At least the photo is here and not languishing on my hard drive!

We're bracing for yet another winter storm here in Ohio, while other parts of the country are already being pummeled with snow. To all who are in the grip of Old Man Winter, stay safe and warm!

And drink a hot beverage. I find that helps.

stamps: Gina K sentiment
ink: Hero Arts and Memento
paper: Papertrey Ink white
accessories: SU bird punch, dimensional, glue pen

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Little of This, a Little of That

1. Jonah is doing better after his bout of RSV, although now Ben, Jonah's daddy, has the upper respiratory crud. I've delivered cards the past two Fridays but because they've been sick, I've not gone inside. If you've sent a card and it's been delivered, your name should be on the Jonah Card page. If it's not, let me know. I actually did miss one name during Christmas, so mistakes can be made. By me. Because I'm fallible. Oh. So. Fallible.

2. I have received more cards from some of you, and now's the time to share them. There's one more I've received from Anne B. that still needs to be photographed, but y'all need to know how much I appreciate every single card you send me. Happy, pretty mail!!!!

Pam S. totally rocks negative space.

So does Janet, but that metallic snowflake steals
the show.

And Heather's sparkles so much in real life that even
George said, "That is a REALLY pretty card!"

3. Click over to the One-Layer Simplicity Challenge Blog for Heather's Can You Repeat That? Challenge! The design principle of repetition is so fundamental and can already see the incredible variety in the entries! Have fun with this one!!!

4. My card for tonight is, unfortunately, the best of about ten cards I made with Papertrey's Springtime Doodles...

which leads me to believe that doodle-style stamps are not for me...or I need to put my thinking cat on.

Awwww, that's so cute you're bound to forget my card, which isn't terrible but is rather uninspired. Sometimes we buy things that we think should work for us but don't. I'm not giving up on the set yet because it really is ideal for making kid cards (regarding which I am excessively challenged), but I have some other new stuff to play with right now, which leads me to...


I went a little arrow crazy because I bought Hero Arts Borders and Arrows set, but the arrows in it are huge. I wanted some smaller ones, and now I have them. All because I saw these dishes last summer on vacation in northern Minnesota. Oy.

And that's enough for one night.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

One-Layer Simplicity #2: Can You Repeat That?

February's One-Layer Simplicity Challenge is hosted by the Master of Sponge-and-Masking, Heather Telford! Her sample card is simply amazing, so click on over and check it out.

The challenge focuses on a key design element: repetition. There are so many ways to use repetition in designs to add interest and movement and balance! I know y'all will have fun playing with this design concept, so get stamping!

I often focus on very, very tight, orderly repetition...grids and rows...because I'm so very, um, tidy. Yeah, I like that word better than some others that pop to mind. Anyway, today, I have a card that is very tidy but also has lots of movement. My design repeats a leaf from Papertrey's Ruby Reprise to create a single large flower in happy citrus shades.

Notice how the stamp itself--with its three thick and three thin curves--creates a sense of movement in a very static design. Also, the sentiment slightly overlaps the flower without committing the sin of trapped white space. This has the effect of stopping the eye's movement and drawing attention to a rather small sentiment. I really like the tension created by the "movement" of the flower and the stasis of the black rhinestone and sentiment.

I hope you do, too!

Now click on over to the One-Layer Simplicity Challenge blog, and put on your thinking caps! Let's see how you use repetition to make some one-layer awesomeness!!!

stamps: Papertrey Ruby Reprise, Birthday Basics
ink: VersaColor
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: black rhinestone