Monday, April 24, 2017

PSX Feathers Three Ways. Part 3

This final card using the old PSX feathers stamp gets all subtle with Avery Elle sea glass ink. While the first two cards used strong colors, this card goes soft and comforting to reinforce the sentiment from Psalm 91.

My first instinct was to put this panel on a white base, but it really was too subtle for that and looked very bland. The black mat and Papertrey aqua mist base frame the subtle panel with a bit more drama and draw attention to the sentiment and the very soft backdrop. It gives the sense of being enclosed, centered, protected by God. At least, that's what I was going for.

The bling needs no explanation.

This verse is a great comfort in times of grief and stress. I hope whoever receives this card feels that comfort and the love behind it.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: PSX, Waltzingmouse
paper: Papertrey white, black, aqua mist
ink: Avery Elle sea glass, Memento Luxe black
accessories: rhinestones

Sunday, April 23, 2017

PSX Feathers Three Ways, Part 2

Have you ever had a "creative" thought and tried it out? There are three possible outcomes: 1) it works beautifully, 2) it sort of works but isn't brilliant, and 3) it flops spectacularly.

Too often, my outcome is #3.

Well, while staring at the PSX feathers stamp, I wondered what would happen if I inked it with a couple of Tim Holtz Distress Inks and spritzed it with water. My gut told me it would create a muddy mess. The detail in the stamp is pretty fine and shouldn't lend itself to a watercolor effect.

But hey, it's only paper, and I wouldn't have to show the disaster to anyone except my trash can.

Only it wasn't a disaster. It was a #1! So here you go.

Isn't this delightful?!?! The colors are aged mahogany and brushed corduroy, which work so nicely together. I aimed for one-third corduroy and two-thirds mahogany, but got a bit more mahogany. That's a strong color. Anyway, the light spritzing gave a bit of a blurry feel, but the stamp looks great that way, so WIN!

The sentiment, from Waltzingmouse's Fine Feathers, tucked right into the feather design as if made to do so. That quotation from Emily Dickinson is delightful, as are so many of her poems.

Large quotations and large images can challenge a clean-and-simple stamper, but this simple design, bordered with a Prismacolor gold metallic marker, is exceptionally clean and simple. It doesn't even need bling. (GASP!)

And of course the PSX stamp absolutely rocks.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: PSX, Waltzingmouse
ink: Distress aged mahogany, brushed corduroy; Memento Luxe espresso truffle
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: Prismacolor gold metallic pen, craft foam, glue

Saturday, April 22, 2017

PSX Feathers Three Ways, Part 1

While searching through my Really Old Stamp box, I stumbled onto this gorgeous feather stamp from PSX:

It seemed perfectly designed to make a card inspired by THIS PIN on Pinterest. So here's what I made.

The gate fold opens to a stamped sentiment and another feather.

The sentiment panel is only attached to the left side of the gate with dimensionals, while the right side has craft foam glued to it so it doesn't bend down in the envelope.

What makes this card smashing to me is the Kaleidacolor Vineyard ink. Those colors are stunning with this stamp! And of course, bling.

Because--let's say it together--bling makes everything better!

It was tricky getting the two sides of the gate perfectly aligned, and I did end up having to trim a sliver off one side, but it was absolutely worth the effort.

Now, since I had this pretty stamp out, it only made sense to play around with it. Two more cards resulted, both quite different from this one in layout and color schemes. We'll take a look at them over the next few days.

Also, Sue C. asked me to share my Copic colors with her, Here's my chart of alcohol markers, which includes Copics, Sharpies, and Bics.

The Copics are labeled with the Copic code, the Sharpies with Sh, and Bics with Bic. If you're having trouble reading the chart, click on the picture to see it bigger.

My collection has grown by bits and pieces, and there are still gaps that annoy me. But every time that first-world problem rears its ugly head, I remind myself of my coloring-challenged status. Does one who rarely colors truly need more shades of ridiculously expensive pens? The answer is no, of course, but there's no doubt my collection will grow.

No doubt whatsoever.


Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: PSX feathers, Papertrey Keep It Simple Birthday
ink: Kaleidacolor Vineyard
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: craft foam, dimensionals, glue

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Horror! The Horror!

My camera died today.

"The horror! The horror!"

Name that quote. Don't google.

When I try to use my light tent with my phone, the lines from the bulbs in my Ott lights show on the photo. My husband told me to use his Nikon D-50, but it intimidates me. I'm going to have to learn to do something new.

Some days, that's too much.

Can you relate?

Anyway, I have a few photos of cards that haven't been shared yet, so we're good for a few days. Technically, today's post could be two posts but that would be a waste of everyone's time because the cards are much the same, although one of them does use a rarely-seen-on-this-blog colored base.

Here you go.

Isn't that sentiment fabulous!!! You certainly won't find it in today's literary source, which is depressing beyond words.

My first coloring attempt with this stamp took the shading in the opposite direction, but it looked strange to me...perhaps simply because Copic coloring is so challenging for me. Whatever. So I googled actual pictures of roses and noted that many of them have lighter shades of color on the inside of petals and darker shades toward the edges. This seems counterintuitive to me, too, but I mentioned recently how horticulturally challenged I am, being more a plant hospice worker than green thumb.

I like the odd results.

Both cards use Memento black ink, which stays put no matter how much Copic layering you do, on Gina K heavy white cardstock, which is coated to make blending Copic and other alcohol inks easier. Thank you, Memento and Gina.

The orange rose has bits hanging over the edge of the popped panel...which adds a bit of interest to the card, I think.

Here's another line from our literary source for this post, one of my favorite lines in all literature for its sound (but certainly not for its meaning).

"A taint of imbecile rapacity blew through it all, like a whiff from some corpse."

Say it out loud. It's brilliant, even faintly onomatopoeic in a rather gross way.

Now, without googling, who can tell me who penned these lines and in what work they may be found?

Mercy, grace, peace, and love to fight the darkness,

stamps: Altenew Awesome You
ink: Memento Luxe
paper: Gina K white, Papertrey pink
accessories: Copic markers, craft knife, craft foam, glue, rhinestones

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Colorful Outlines

Altenew's Amazing You is such a pretty set...the outline images are perfect for coloring with your favorite medium or for stamping in color.

You don't have to guess which I prefer.

First up, we have roses in bright pinks, purples, and oranges, and accented with bling.

Yay, bling!

Next, we go with a serene palette of blues using what appears to my very non-horticultural eye as plumeria. Instead of bling, these flowers received a silver bead treatment.

Yay, beads!

Isn't it just grand that we have so many beautiful colors of ink to choose from?

Yes, it's grand, indeed.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and colorful gratitude,

stamps: Altenew Amazing You, Papertrey Keep It Simple Birthday
paper: Papertrey white
ink: various (mostly Archival)
accessories: Prismacolor silver metallic marker, ruler, craft foam, glue, silver beads, rhinestones

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Better Way to Color

The fabulously clever and creative Joan B of Dear Paperlicious demonstrated a better way to color on her blog post here, and so I gave it a try.

Simplicity and awesomeness, both at the same time!

Joan used simple circle stamps to color flowers from an Altenew set. My card is an example of pretty straightforward imitation. Different stamp set, but still Altenew, and similar layout. My circle stamps are from My Favorite Things Party Patterns set, which contains irregular circles that seemed perfect for this technique.

I made a similar version with bright colors, and it didn't look nearly so nice as the pastels. The bright circles looked too harsh and overwhelmed the black outlines. Unfortunately, I cut it up for scraps before taking a picture to show the difference, but if you experiment with this technique, keep that in mind.

This is by far a better way to least for coloring-challenged me. My Copic experiments with this set have not, shall we say, yielded successful results. I'd much rather stamp the outlines in color or use Joan's dot method. Fortunately, the Altenew floral sets work great with LOTS of different techniques. Oh, how I love them!

If you don't have a circle set, remember that you can use the reverse of clear stamps to give solid if the stamp itself is pretty round, just flip it over, mount it on an acrylic block, and use it as you would a circle stamp.

Thanks, Joan, for this wonderfully simple and beautiful idea!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Altenew Amazing You, My Favorite Things Party Patterns
ink: Archival black, Memento daffodil, pear tart, cantaloupe
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: none

Monday, April 17, 2017

Dragonflies Are NOT the Same as Goldfish (or Sharks)

Today's two cards were inspired by this card posted by Memory Box by Jean Okimoto, who is a very clever designer!

The card first popped up on the Memory Box Facebook feed. Following companies on Facebook is an awesome way to stay connected with their releases and to get ideas from their awesome designers. I also invite you to follow Simplicity on Facebook as well because, why not? Your Facebook feed is already cluttered as it is, right?

Anywho, the original card is landscape-oriented and clusters the three die cuts in the center square, but I chose to rotate the card and spread out larger shapes a bit more.  My first effort wasn't quite a hit for me, mainly because it feels too heavy and there are too many rhinestones (a result of trying to balance the design...sometimes there can be too much bling), but perhaps you'll like it.

The colors are striking, even if the design feels too chunky. You'll notice the layout is almost identical to the original inspiration card, but the larger and very straight-line dragonflies don't work nearly as well as the sinuous goldfish die cuts (which look like sharks to I alone in this?). Also, the background woodgrain (which works for water as well, don't you think?) doesn't have dots on it...making the round bling seem less integral to the design than the punched circles are on the original. Although I do think the woodgrain and the dragonflies work well together.

I went with black for the dragonflies because I saw a gorgeous all-black dragonfly in my garage last fall, but black simply feels too heavy, especially with the dark teal rhinestones.


My second effort lightened the whole effect with more white, less (but still bright) color, and smaller bling. It made me very, very happy!

The tiny dot background unifies the bling better, and having the largish bling on the dragonfly bodies emphasizes the visual triangle of the focal point, unifying the punched shapes. Note that the smaller goldfish/sharks are, on the original card, all on the central square for unity but my dragonflies would have looked tangled had they been crammed onto one square together.

I added a sentiment because that bottom square felt too empty with just the little bling, and I was afraid of going a bling too far, as I'd done on the first card.

Anyway, this is an excellent layout and worth playing with more! Can't you just see a snowflake card, or a tiny sea horse card (I have a seahorse punch), or a star card with three circles as if you were looking through a telescope at the night sky? Oh, my! The possibilities are endless. If you try something with the layout, please share it in the comments!

Many thanks to Jean Okimoto for the wonderful inspiration.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts woodgrain, Tim Holtz polka dots, Papertrey sentiment
ink: various
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, square punch (3/4"), glue, dragonfly punch