Author Web Page

Visit my author web page at www.beccawhitham.com

Friday, May 31, 2013

Dream Pop Color Dare

I have a confession to make.  I did not purchase Dream Pop paper.  Saw lovely things done with it.  Think it's very fun and summery.  Just didn't purchase any because...well...I didn't need it.  And I only purchase things I need.  Really...NEED.   Ha!

One of the great things about being on a Design Team is that your DT buddies come to your rescue in times like these.  Kudos to the lovely and talented Amie Kiger for sending me some 4.25x5.5 pieces so I could bring you this weeks' Color My Heart challenge.


I fussy cut the flower out of the Dream Pop paper, used a bone folder to score the petals, then bent them in an alternating fashion.  I put a small circle "bubble" (probably from Michaels) in the center.  This allowed me to have at least a small surface area to adhere to the card base.  The yellow birdcage paper is also from Dream Pop.   

I used the Slate ribbon from CTMH and folded it in thirds using a tape runner to adhere the layers together.  I taped the edges around the center panel then stapled the bejeebers out of it.  No fancy stapler, just a regular one which is why the very center staple under the flower is horizontal.  Too bad you can't see it.

I'm into yellow and gray lately...and staples. Not sure why, just am.

Here's a second card I whipped up this morning which also works for the following challenges:

CAS(E) This Sketch #30
CAS-ual Fridays #103
Pinspired Challenges #10
Color Throwdown #244

"fabulous" was cut using Cricut Graphically Speaking.  Lots of foam tape (most of them itty, bitty pieces) to make sure it stayed in place.  I inked the pink paper using Slate for the middle banner.

Before I go, I have to give a second shout out to another DT buddy, Pam Korte, who also offered to send me Dream Pop paper.  Especially after I raved over this post!  Since then, she's done a bunch more.  Go...see...be inspired.  You might just need this paper!

Until next time,
Becca

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wheee!

Went shopping at Hobby Lobby yesterday for some ribbon.  Just ribbon.  Came home with this new stamp which I had to use for my second entry in the OWH: Transportation challenge.


Mouse and umbrella where colored with Prismacolor pencils, sky done with Copic BG0000.  Background paper is CTMH.  I hand wrote the sentiment.

I'm in LOVE with this little guy...mostly because he perfectly depicts life in Oklahoma (where the wind truly does come sweeping down the plain).

Until next time,
Becca

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Air Mail

Quick post today because I might need to go help a friend get a storm window in place before severe weather rolls into our part of Oklahoma again.  This card is being entered in the following challenges:

OWH: Transportation
Heart2Heart: Nip & Tuck (using stitching, real or faux)


Everything I used is CTMH except for the sentiment (Verve, Friendly Phrases).  Cardstock is Heavenly Blue (retired); inks are Pacifica, Cranberry, and Heavenly Blue plus Versamark for embossing; stamp set is Sightseer.

I CASE'd this card idea from one of the participants in the Clean & Simple Cardmaking 2 class I took a while back.  You can see the original here.  I like her use of the border along the top better but, if you look very closely at the "YOU" in the detail shot, you'll see that the top of the Y has some smudges.  That's not from poorly stamping the sentiment...it's from poorly stamping the bottom border by getting ink on my pinkie finger and transferring it to the paper.  I probably should have turned my cardstock over and started again, but I just now thought of it.  Duh!

I believe the tail of the paper airplane qualifies as faux stitching.  At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

This is going in my next batch of OWH cards.  Red, white, and blue "Miss You"...what could be more OWH'y than that?

Until next time,
Becca

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Roses are Red

Two posts in one day!!  OWH has a tutorial for coloring red roses, so I combined that with Inspired By #76.


All stamps and inks are from CTMH. The flowers are long retired (Forever Roses) but, even though I have a bunch of other rose stamps, I keep coming back to them over and over again.  The chevron background is In the Background (current) which I embossed in clear powder then did direct to paper with Heavenly Blue, Crystal Blue and Pacifica dye inks.  The sentiment is from Love Quotes (retired) stamped in Outdoor Denim pigment ink then embossed with clear powder. 

Since the ombre effect made my bottom Pacifica layer so dark, I tested out several inks before deciding Outdoor Denim was the best match for the sentiment.  The card was fully assembled by this time, and I had no desire to pull it all apart because the last thing I stamped ruined the color coordination.  Been there, done that!

I used the following Copic markers:
  • Roses: R24, R29, R39, RV69 and 0 Colorless
  • Leaves: G24 and G28
Ribbon is from Hobby Lobby.  I've already used up one roll and the second is 75% gone.  Aaaack!  Time to stock up again.

In retrospect, I'm not sure I like the ombre effect on this card.  Hmmm...maybe I'll have to make another one just to see.

Until next time,
Becca

Poultry in Motion

Just for fun, I decided to play along with this week's Less is More: Humour challenge.



I used a variety of techniques to color my chickens (Art Impressions-Rhode Island Rocketts).  The background shading is watercoloring using the same color ink as the paper (CTMH Bamboo).  The white highlighting was done using a paint brush and pigment ink (CTMH White Daisy).  The beaks and feet were colored with Copics (E21, E53, R00).

  Here's a close up of the wavy banner.  I don't expect the wave to last in the mail, but it makes for a fun picture. The sentiment is also from Art Impressions (Poultry in Motion).

This one is going in my "Blank" folder for now. I've used this as an anniversary card in the past, but I think it could also be a fun birthday card.  Or for any occasion which calls for kicking up heels!

Until next time,
Becca

Monday, May 27, 2013

Cool Dude

Okay...I have to admit, I stole this idea from Kath's Blog and I have been waiting for the next Heart2Heart challenge to create it.  I added stitching (using Tamytha Jenkins' idea) just so it could qualify for this week's challenge!!



I used four different CTMH sets for this: Perfect Fit-Dad (mustache), Puns of Praise (glasses), A Typeface (DUDE), and Charm Uppercase (C and L, retired).  I could have just as easily used the "DAD" stamp out of Perfect Fit-Dad because I plan to use this for Father's Day. But I just liked "Cool Dude" better.

Hee, hee!

Until next time,
Becca

Saturday, May 25, 2013

OWH Blog Hop with Color Dare Reprise

I saw the cutest dress on the cutest little girl last Sunday!  As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the inspiration for my OWH Memorial Day Blog Hop card. Partly because it was so cute, and partly because it was a wonderful reprise of a Color My Heart dare.  This year, a few of my CMH Design Team friends decided to join in the hop.  We used OWH Sketches yesterday as part of our normal Friday challenge (see this post), and then did a second card today.  My card is based off the following:

OWH Sketch 127
Color Dare 26:


Supplies used are all CTMH.  Stamps: Love Doily, For Every Occasion (sentiment, retired). Paper: For Always. Ink: Honey.

I hope you will pop on over to the Color My Heart blog to see the wonderful cards my DT buddies created as you're hopping along.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Until next time,
Becca

Friday, May 24, 2013

Color Dare Meets OWH

This week we are doing something special at Color My Heart with our Creme Brulee and Juniper color dare.  We are getting ready to support Operation Write Home with their Memorial Day Blog Hop.  The design team decided to use an OWH sketch of our choice to promote our participation with the hop tomorrow.

I am using Sketch 160



The stamp is so old I thought I should include it in the picture to prove to you that it really is a CTMH (well...DOTS) stamp.  It didn't have the copyright date on it, and I think the company started doing that in 1990, so it's older than that.  It's one of my all-time favorites.  I stamped it in Memento Rich Cocoa because I wanted to watercolor over it.  I squeezed the lids of Creme Brulee and Juniper to pick up excess ink, then used my watercolor brush to paint.  I added more water or less water to get the shade variation.  One of the coloring tricks I have picked up over the years is to shade the background, particularly when you have flowers with white petals.  It makes them stand out against the background and look "whiter."  I really watered down the Creme Brulee ink to get it that soft, buttery shade.

The patterned paper behind the daisies is from a retired paper pack called Key to my Heart.  It has the multi-colored pattern on one side and monocromatic identical pattern on the other. 

I hope you will come back tomorrow and, if you've never heard of OWH, that you choose to support them in some way.  As both the wife and mother of soldiers, I can tell you that the cards they have sent back to me from their deployments were worth more than gold.

Until next time,
Becca

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Blooming Beautiful

It's been a long time since I've posted anything besides my Color My Heart Design Team projects.  This week has been busy, so today (when it's 100 degrees and muggy outside) was the perfect day to stay where both the air conditioning and overhead fan are keeping me cool and make a card for the following challenges:

Heart2Heart: May Flowers
CASology: Bloom
CAS-ual Fridays: Stamp on Patterned Paper



I'm not sure if you can read the sentiment (CTMH Scrapbook Sentiments-Women).  It says, "Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. ~Eleanor Roosevelt"  Is that too perfect, or what?

To create my flower (CTMH-Something Splendid), I took a mostly solid image stamp, embossed it in clear on patterned paper (CTMH-Lucy), then sponged over it in a darker color (CTMH-Cotton Candy with a little Tulip along the outside edge).  The flower center is created with puff ball ribbon (see this post for tutorial) surrounded by pearl accents.  UPDATE:  I finally found the actual tutorial post, so let me give credit where it's due...the amazing Stamp Talk with Tosh.
So fun to create something beautiful just because.
 
Until next time,
Becca

Friday, May 17, 2013

Color Dare from Here to There

Aaaack!  I totally ditzed.  I got my days all mixed up and...

Whatever.  Here's my card for this week's Color My Heart dare using Cranberry, Honey and Outdoor Denim.


Stamps used are Adventure USA (current) and It's Your Day (retired).  The paper pack is retired Superhero which I altered by squeezing my Honey ink pad together to pick up excess ink, using a watercolor brush to get it wet, and painting over where the paper is normally tan to make it Honey.    This is a great technique if you need to alter your existing paper to coordinate with scrapbook photos rather than going out to buy a whole new paper pack.

Okay...I am so late posting this and running behind on my day.  If you have questions, please ask and I'll reply in the comment section.  Sorry to be so scattered!!

Until next time,
Becca
P.S.  Now that I've had a chance to catch up, here are a few more details on how I made this.  First off, the outline stamp of the USA is not solid in the middle which means it doesn't hold shape when you peel it off the carrier sheet.  I had to fuss to get it to look like the US rather than something resembling a blob and finally came up with a great solution.  Peel off the stamp and lay it down on a piece of paper with the fine line/image side up.  Turn the carrier sheet over.  With the USA carrier sheet image backwards, line up your stamp with the carrier sheet until it matches up and stick it back to the carrier sheet lightly.  Lift up your carrier sheet, lay down a large acrylic block, press the image onto the block, and it will now transfer to your block with the fine line/image side ready to stamp.  I know...every once in a while I do something brilliant.  Don't get used to it! :)

I stamped the USA onto glossy paper in Outdoor Denim.  I then flicked watered-down Honey (For a great video tutorial, go here) all over.  Since it still wasn't filled in enough, I then used a sponge dauber to add more Honey.  I didn't let the ink dry in between, so that's why the outline is a little sloppy.  I sortof like it, but if I wanted to have a clean outline, I would flick the ink first, let it dry, then stamp the outline over top.  I did wait to have the background dry before stamping the road in Cranberry between Oklahoma (where I live) and Washington State (where my family lives).  The bendy nature of acrylic stamps worked to my advantage in this instance.

I wanted to leave a pocket to attach my paperclip, so I sewed the white background to the Superhero matte, then I only attached the Superhero border along the sides and bottom edge.

Okay,  I think that just about does it.  Again, let me know if you have questions in the comment section.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Government Samaritan

It started as one of those Facebook video links espousing a viewpoint with which I disagreed.  I rarely get involved in those comment strings because they degenerate into name calling and grandstanding.  This one, however, was posted by a person who sometimes sees things differently than I do but manages to be both thought-provoking and gracious.   

Though the comment string degenerated as expected—and the ending comments strayed from the original link—my friend challenged me to think about government assistance in a new light.  Here are a few of the comments which went back and forth between the two of us:

Him:  Why should we ever assume that the government is not part of God's strategy to provide help to the poor?

Me:  I assume that God intended for the church to do this, as opposed to a government, because His desire is that all people be saved. A government doesn't minister to people in Jesus’ name. A government doesn't feed people in Jesus’ name. A government doesn't clothe people in Jesus’ name. And if people can get their physical needs met apart from Jesus, they will not get their spiritual need met. They can gain the whole world and lose their soul.

Him:  I do agree with you that it is the church’s job to take care of the poor. But the reality is that we haven’t done it. Period. No excuses, no “what-ifs”, no “should-haves” – we have dropped the ball. So it has fallen to the government, to a great degree, to take care of the poor, needy, disenfranchised, neglected and forgotten of our nation. That’s the way it is, and we have to work with it.

Me:   You didn't ask if the church had done their job properly. Your question was, "Why should we ever assume that the government is not part of God's strategy to provide help to the poor?" Do you think God looks at the welfare program and smiles? I don't. I think He looks at it and His heart breaks. Is not my heart to break for the things which break His?

Him:  That's an interesting question. Let's look at the parable of the Good Samaritan. The lesson to be learned is not that God is disappointed in the church (priest and Levite) for not helping the man. Sure, it's a challenge to the church to step up, but it's also an admonition to see and accept the "outsider" and be thankful for his service.  Does God's heart break that the church dropped the ball? Maybe - but no more so than when I mess up. And it is all viewed through the blood. I heartily believe that God is pleased that the hungry are being fed. The naked are being clothed. The sick are being cared for. No matter WHO is doing it.  And I believe that pleasure far outweighs any disappointment.

One of the other commenters basically said it is our Christian duty to vote for those who support government programs which assist the needy because of how the poor and disenfranchised will view Christians in general.

I pondered these thoughts for a couple of days.  Since the comment string turned into something of a bloodbath, my friend put an end to it while I was still contemplating.  After two days of tossing this around, I am still not sure where I stand.  But here’s more to think about.

Is God really pleased that the poor are being cared for no matter who is doing it?  I just have trouble with that.  One of the reasons God hates idolatry is because He created us to be His image bearer.  We—the church, the called ones— are to be His hands and feet, to show the world what God looks like and how He acts.  If we abdicate this responsibility, are we not setting up the replacement as an idol, as something less than what God intended?  Is it possible that the priest and Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan figured they could walk by the person in need because there was a government program in place to care for beat up travelers?  I know I’m guilty of thinking that way.  “Good thing there’s a homeless shelter.  Hope that guy gets there because he sure looks like a mess.”

Ouch!

I think it is vitally important that we disagree within Christian circles.  It’s exactly this kind of debate which takes us out of our comfortable theology and makes us dig deeper.  But while I think THAT we disagree is important, HOW we disagree is imperative.  They shall know we are Christians by our love.

Until next time,
Becca

Friday, May 10, 2013

Pink Puff

This week's challenge over at Color My Heart is three shades of pink: Hollyhock, Cotton Candy, and Blush.  I was blog hopping and came across a flower tutorial (which I cannot find now, so if it was you, please leave me a comment so I can give credit where due).  I got so excited, I made this card almost a full week ahead of my DT deadline:


This is more of that retired Cotton Candy puff ball ribbon.  I'll give you a quick tutorial in a moment, but for now I want to focus on the supplies.  The background paper is Hollyhock.  The white band is a combination of plain white paper topped with vellum.  I wanted the Blush flower background (Perfect Fit Frames) to be even softer than Blush is normally, so I stamped it on vellum and turned the vellum so the stamped side was down.   Hint: stamp in dye ink and either let it dry for a long time or lightly go over it with an embossing heat tool to set the ink before putting against the background white to prevent smearing.  I like to just let it air dry because the heat tool tends to curl the vellum.  The leaves are Hollyhock Zipper Lace, and the glitter is Studio G glitter glue.  "MOM" is stamped in White Daisy (Perfect Fit Holidays-Mom).

Okay, here's how to make that flower.  Run a line of Liquid Glass along about an inch of the bottom edge of your puff ball ribbon. Then start rolling it.

Keep going an inch at a time.  If you want a rounded flower, you'll have to fuss more with shaping it.  I used a lot of Liquid Glass and had to be patient.  I got it into a basic rounded shape, held it until it would hold, then turned it over and used even more Liquid Glass on the inside to set the shape being careful not to squirt any through holes.  Let it dry for several hours before you move it.

When I was ready to add it to my card, I stacked three pieces of foam mounting tape to the center of my stamped circle and fit the puff ball circle over top.  I smushed the very center flat onto the foam tape to make sure it would stay.  Using my finger, I smeared glitter glue over the top.

Now...to be completely honest with you, this card is not going in the mail.  It's way too dimensional.  I have no idea what I'm going to do with it since it says "MOM" and my mother is 3000 miles away so hand delivery is a little pricey.  I think I'll just hold onto it for now.  I might need to pretend it's from my kids, if you catch my meaning.

Until next time,
Becca

Friday, May 3, 2013

Neapolitan Ice Cream and Rattlesnakes

Sometimes the Color My Heart challenge colors just flow...and sometimes they require ice cream to get the creative juices flowing.


This week's challenge was to use Cocoa and Saddle together with one other color.  I pulled this, that, and the other out of my stash, but nothing screamed, "Pick me! Pick me!" until Cotton Candy came on the scene. There is a warm undertone to Saddle and a cool undertone to Cocoa so, even though they are both brown, there's a bit of a clash going on.  I decided to play that up by letting the Saddle be something big but not overwhelming.

I used both Artiste and Art Philosophy cuts.  The cone is actually the tree on p. 31 of Art Philosophy. Using my Design Studio, I shortened the length of the tree to give it a broader width to depth ratio. The ticket shape also comes from Art Philosophy on p. 25.  The ice cream scoops are from p. 69 in Artiste.  If you only have the Art Philosophy cartridge, you can use the cupcake shape from p. 70 and cut off the bottom.  (It just wastes a little extra paper which was unnecessary for me since I also own Artiste.)  I did trim the Cocoa colored ice cream scoop to add some variety to the shape.  It's turned upside down from the Cotton Candy scoop, and the white scoop is flipped so the two bottom edges are a little different.

Non-CTMH products used here are the doilie,  ribbon (CTMH sells something similar only with Cocoa and cream colored stripes but I wanted white stripes), and embossing folders.  The swirl one you can get at a local craft store; the one on the cone is from Stampin' Up.  After I embossed each shape, I sponged them with their coordinating colors to bring out the texture.  On the cone, I beefed up the edges because darker colors recede so it makes the edges "fall away" and rounds the cone.  I even dabbed a tiny bit of Cocoa on the edge of the cone to intensify the receding effect.

Cotton Candy works well with Cocoa because both have a cool, bluish undertone.  Because the card is mostly brown, I needed more of the Cotton Candy color than the one ice cream scoop so it didn't look "lonely" on the rest of the card.  I added the ticket first. (LOVE that mini clip!)  The picture doesn't show it well, but the whole ticket has Cotton Candy sponged over it with more along the edges. It didn't have enough Cotton Candy "oomph" though with just the sponging, so I added the thumbprint.  I'm not sure what inspired me to use my thumb rather than a stamp...maybe the ice cream was melting???  The sentiment comes from Piece of Cake (retired) and is stamped in Cocoa.  Even with the Cotton Candy ticket, I still didn't have enough of the pink to balance out all that brown.  Cotton Candy puff ball ribbon to the rescue!  Too bad it's retired.  However, if you want to recreate this card, you could very easily substitute Hollyhock and use the coordinating Zipper Lace.  Now, if you are really paying attention, you'll see that my sewing only goes from one edge of the puff ball ribbon to the other.  Yep...tried to get the sewing foot to go over those puffs but nothin' doin'!

If I weren't limited on the colors by the challenge, I think I would have added a cherry (p. 70 of Artiste) on top of the ice cream cone.  Maybe not.  I'd want to play around with it and see if a red cherry clashed.  Oh...and maybe I could have cut tiny bits of Cocoa baker's twine and sprinkled them on top. Or...

Better quit while I'm ahead.

Now...if you were here last week and wondered about my trip to Mangum, OK for their 48th Annual Rattlesnake Derby, here are some pictures to give you a little flavor of the event:

 Jack, our tour guide, was one of the founding members of the rattlesnake derby.  This year they were paying about $10 per pound for snakes and anticipated about 2000 lbs. coming in.  On average, one snake weighs a pound and a half. We went out to an inactive rattlesnake den where he talked about how to be safe.  If you look closely, you can see the snake in the clump of grass about three feet in front of him.
 See that silver box in the background?  It was on the bus when we boarded.  Right in front where you had to pass by it.  Only after we are at our destination do they pull it out and let you know that there are two rattlesnakes in there.  Yeah...not sure I would  have boarded if I'd known that.

Jack is showing us the difference between a boy rattlesnake and a girl rattlesnake.  Girls will only have three rings.  Boys have more.  Not sure why I care because, if I see one in the wild, I'm not sticking around long enough to count the rings, that's for sure!
 Betcha didn't think I'd do it!  But I kept it as far away from me as possible.  
And could I look any more like I'm questioning my own sanity.
 Two guys walk around in a pit filled with rattlesnakes.  And, yes, they have some other, non-venomous snakes curled around their necks which totally freaked me out when the snakes curled up under their chins or licked their cheeks.  Bleh!!  The guys wear Kevlar enforced boots, though, so they aren't complete idiots.
 Even though you are separated from the snakes by double mesh, I didn't get much closer than the woman on the left.  I did see some teenage boys banging on the screens and trying to get the snakes to attack.  Stupid kids!  I almost wish they'd been bitten just to see how tough they were with venom racing through their veins.  Go ahead, call social services on me.  My kids are grown and gone. 
Nope!  Not on your life!!  And certainly not on my life!!!

I will say this, I learned a ton.  The most fascinating thing to me was talking to a man who milks snakes.  He  uses a long hook to pull one from a box, flop it on a table, and smush the area just behind the snake's head so he can pick it up with his hand.  He squeezes the sides of the "neck" until the mouth opens and hooks the fangs over a funnel (the same way the fangs are hooked over the metal in the snake pit picture above).  He squeezes the snake's cheeks and out squirts the venom.  All this must be done by hand because there's no machine that can duplicate the process.

Snake venom is selling for $274 per gram right now.  There's a shortage because drought has killed so many snakes.  Venom creates anti-venom, and anti-venom has a shelf life, so new venom is constantly in demand.  Venom is also used for pharmaceuticals.  There are 34 different medications, including anti-coagulants to prevent heart attacks and blood clots, on the market which have been created by synthesizing different properties of snake venom.

Like I said...fascinating.  Great research for my current novel!!

Until next time,
Becca