Saturday, January 30, 2016

My Three Best

It's the last day of the latest class at Online Card Classes.  The last two days have been "Expressive Florals" where you can take any blob and turn it into a flower.

Here are my best three:

 Used a stamp as a guide for flower placement.
 Free-form roses. Like the roses, hate the leaves, LOVE the sentiment.
Free-form blobs connected by stems and leaves.  Like the leaves.

I think I'm way too literal and picky when it comes to creating these kinds of things.  This free-form stuff just makes me sweat.  If I decide to do much more with watercoloring, I need to invest in better brushes and paper.

The last card meets a different kind of challenge.  Karen Day and I have started daring each other to use up old CTMH paper.  I used Aspen cardstock and B&T paper.  Tag, Karen.  You're it.

As for the shingles, my left eye is only partially swollen now.  I still look too scary to leave the house, but at least I'm starting to function.  Next week I'll be hitting the writing hard.  Deadlines are starting to creep up on me, not to mention a few launch functions for the book releasing March 1.  I have to say, though, if you're going to have to waste a week of work because neither your brain nor body can hold up, watercoloring isn't a bad way to go.

Until next time,

Friday, January 29, 2016

Sweet Baby A

Thanks for all your well wishes.  This shingles thing is no fun.  My eye is still swollen, and my forehead is starting to look really ugly, but I feel like I'm turning the corner.  I'm going to head up to my office and see if I can get some writing done, but I took the morning to work on a card that kept me up last night.

I have a dear friend who just had a baby girl.  Their nursery colors are tan, coral, aqua and white.  I decided to use the negative space watercoloring lesson from Online Card Classes to customize a baby card.

To begin, I embossed the letter A from CTMH "Building Blocks" alphabet set in clear. Then I went to work on the background.  I spritzed my paper with water and dropped Yellow Deep and Yellow Ochre onto various places, swirled it around, then dropped Cobalt Blue and Rose Madder in a few places.  I let that dry then added more of the same colors, mixing a few to create purple and green hues.  Before it dried, I came in with a well-loaded brush and put Cobalt Blue near the edges of the A.  After it dried, I did a wash over the whole thing with Burnt Sienna.

After I lifted the embossing powder by ironing it off between two sheets of blank writing paper, I wet the entire letter and touched Compose Blue along the left side, adding more pigment to the edges to create shading.  With the embossing powder gone and touches of watercolor inside the letter, it looks like I worked harder than I actually did to create that crisp edge.

I trimmed the panel to 4x4, distressed the edges with Cocoa ink, stamped "sweet" and "Baby" in Cocoa, and handwrote the rest of Annalise's name.  Some gold sequins and Glacier Thick twine finished the card.

All stamps, ink, and accessories are from CTMH, watercolors are Holbien Artist's Water Color, and paper is Strathmore 300 Series 140# Cold Press.

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hello Friend

Since it's nearly impossible to write for any length of time with one eye swollen shut, I did my first card from the current Online Card Class: Intermediate Watercolor Techniques for Card Makers

I used an old Stampin' Up set called "Fall Whimsy" stamped in third generation Momento Rich Cocoa.  The sentiment is from Verve.

Did you catch that this was done with one eye swollen shut?


Time for more Percocet and a nap.

Until next time,


Went on vacation. Came home with shingles. Left eye swollen shut, but thankfully there's no shingle involvement in my cornea.  On Percocet.  It makes me sleepy.  Good-night.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Blog Hops with Heart - Planners Gotta Plan

My writing schedule for the year has filled up to the point that I actually had to turn down a contract.  Exciting and terrifying at the same time.  It didn't take rocket science to figure out I needed to get a serious handle on my schedule in order to have sufficient time to fulfill my authorly obligations. 

Before I even found out that we would be doing a "planner" theme for this months' Blog Hops with Heart, I'd purchased a day-planner and started blocking out "office hours".  Now that we're in the new year, I'm choosing activities that conflict with my office hours very carefully.

This is the back of the planner I purchased, but the front was pretty much the same.  It's a fairly thick plastic.  After viewing this Pinterest board and watching several of the videos, I decided to dress it up using a variety of supplies.

Here's what it looks like now...

Here are most of the supplies I used to get there...

I started by applying a mix of white and pale green acrylic paint using my finger.  Yep, just smeared like I was back in elementary school with finger paints.  I let the first coat dry, then I laid down the stencils (cut from Artbooking using plastic notebook dividers, see this post for more information) and dabbed white paint through them still using my finger.
After this second layer dried, I laid down the doily and dabbed the blue and green distress stains through it.  I wasn't trying to be artistic or clever, just make a mess. 

When this layer was dry, I "inked" the large circle outline in white paint and stamped it in random places.  Next, I stamped the smaller images and sentiment in Momento Tuxedo Black ink.  It felt like it needed something more, so I used Liquid Glass to adhere pieces of the doily I'd used as a stencil earlier to the top left and bottom right.
To protect and seal, I used more Liquid Glass over top of the entire thing.
This was my first mixed-media project, and I'm now officially hooked.  I blame fellow Blog Hops with Heart team member, Kelly Janes, who is the stop right before me on this hop.  Next up is the fabulous Stephanie.  I literally stopped breathing for a moment when I saw her planner.  It's that gorgeous.  You won't want to miss what any of the ladies have posted, so be sure you keep hopping until you've made it all the way through.

And for those of you who are wondering, the answer is YES.  I did, in fact, find a color-coordinated pen for this planner.
Until next time,

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Hello with a Flourish

Now that Operation Write Home has stopped accepting cards, I plan to send more to friends just to keep in touch. This card combines three challenges I've not played along with in a long time.

CAS(E) this Sketch
Color Throwdown (oops, I was too late to link up to the challenge)
Less is More

The sentiment and flourish gems are both from CTMH (retired). 

I signed up for Online Card Classes: Intermediate Water Coloring.  Pre-class homework is to create color swatches of our watercolor paints.  It didn't take long to realize that my paints were of such inferior quality that I needed new ones.  I purchased Holbein Artist's Water Color and have been thrilled with the results.  I also purchased Tim Holtz Watercolor Cardstock and am loving it, too.  Amazing what having quality supplies will do for your creativity!

For those of you who read yesterday's post about how I'm not purchasing supplies and paper, you're probably confused.  Well, the justification goes something like this...

I'm taking a class to learn how to better use my supplies.  The watercolor paints I own are terrible.  I need to purchase new ones to get my money's worth out of the class.  I'll use my Christmas money.  Oh, look, Tim Holtz Watercolor Cardstock is on sale.

And that, my friends, is how a woman justifies.

I challenge you to go through your address book or contact list and find someone to mail a card just because it will bring a smile to their face.

Until next time,

Monday, January 11, 2016

Artbooking Fusion Valentine

I took a vow to not purchase any new paper or cardmaking supplies back in June. But I'm also on a blog hop team with a number of Close to my Heart consultants, so the leader graciously sent me a few supplies from the latest supplemental catalog that will help me with upcoming hops.  I decided to use some of it to play along with the sketch of Fusion's 2nd Birthday Challenge.

I am crazy in love with the new Charlotte paper.  Nothing has tempted me to break my vow more than this.  (Hmm...I got money for Christmas.  That shouldn't count against my vow, right?)

The die cuts are both from CTMH Artbooking Cricut cartridge.  I use this cartridge more than all the others.  The oval is actually a circle (p. 55).  Using Design Space, I unlocked the image and then stretched it to 3.75"W x 1.78" H.  The heart is from p. 59 and is 1.14"W x 1.05"H cut from Sorbet.  I stamped "Love You" in black, used a ton of foam tape on the back, mounted it onto the card, then covered it with Liquid Glass to give it a puffy sticker look.

Once I had everything assembled, I added the red glitter stickers that come from the Fundamentals Assortment.  Gotta tell ya, I skipped right past them in the catalog thinking I didn't need them but, now that I've used them...hmmm...might need more of that Christmas money.

I'll be sending this card to my hop leader to thank her for the supplies.  I hope it adequately expresses my thanks for her thoughtfulness.

Until next time,

Sunday, January 10, 2016

"Ancient Paper" for Retro Sketch

As I was blog hopping yesterday, I came across this post by Karen Day.  I commented, telling her I had the same "ancient paper" she used, and she dared me to use it on a card.  So here's "Let's Get Together" paper along with an ancient stamp set, "Friendship Blessings" (which travels with me every time the army moves us because it would kill me to lose it), on this week's Retro Sketch challenge.

The squares are 3/4" and mounted on a 2.5" red square, a 3.5" white square, a 4" blue square, and a 4.25" square card base.  I cut the white, decorative frame at 2" using the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge. 

The flower was stamped in Chocolate dye ink on vellum and embossed in clear before the ink dried. The center brad was dipped in white iridescent paint, allowed to dry, then colored with Copic YR15.

Although I didn't use much of the paper, I really like how this turned out.  Thanks, Karen, for daring me to dig through my stash.

Until next time,

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Baby Card for Mojo Monday

I always love playing along with Mojo Monday.  It's even more fun when I can make a card for dear friends who just announced they are going to be grandparents.  Since it's too early to know the baby's gender, I used the Georgie paper from CTMH and coordinating stamp set, Baby Zoo for this card.

When I saw the sketch, I immediately thought of this circular Spellbinder die cut.  So pretty!  The ribbon wasn't quite the right yellow, so I used a Copic marker to tint it. Although the picture doesn't show it well, the ear was stamped separately and glued down with Liquid Glass so just the right edge is touching and the rest sticks out at an angle.  I piled a bit more Liquid Glass underneath to make sure it stays angled.

I'm so in love with this card, I might make more to have on hand.

Until next time,