Thursday, June 25, 2015

Watercolor Flowers

I'm still working on learning to watercolor.  This card was inspired once again by Sandy Allnock.  I have a long way to go before I get as good as she is, but I'm trying.  My 3 part rose stamps are by Papertrey Ink and called The Sweet Life.  I started by taping Strathmore watercolor paper to my hardboard to keep it flat.

I messed up my positioning of the stamps and left a mess in areas.  In my attempt to clean up the center area, I made a big mess, so I covered it up with a sentiment banner.
The dies are all by Spellbinders.  Inks are a combination of Marvy Markers and Distress inks.  Obviously, I have more practice time ahead of me.  I also need to shop for better brushes and try some other inks.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

More watercolor practice

I'm still practicing with watercolor.  This time, I used Peerless Watercolor papers on Arches Watercolour Paper.  The stamps are by Art Impressions.
I'm not sharing all of my practice, but I'm still learning.  One thing I've found is that details don't work well with watercolor.  I need to try some, just letting the water do it's thing.  It's still controlling my plans.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Watercolor learning experience

I've been watching technique videos and this one inspired me to dig out my old Art Impressions watercolor stamps and try it again after many years.  I bought some new Arches Watercolour Paper and my hardware store cut me a piece of hardboard from a scrap.  I taped the paper to hardboard with painter's tape and tried my luck.  Many years ago, I had learned to use these stamps with Marvy markers, then use water to spread the color.  That is what I used this time, but I sure need practice and will try this again.

I'm not fond of this one, but decided to share my attempt with you.  I don't like the placement of the sentiment, but I'll try again - maybe with different stamps.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

One more challenge

Since I have decided to make one more box of cards for the OWH Finish Strong campaign, I also decided to participate in the June ODBD challenge for missing you cards.  This card also fits with Sandy's Sunday Story since I fell for it the first time.
Now, I'll try to make a few more missing you cards for the box.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Embossing with color

I have many embossing folders that I have collected over the years.  I love the texture, but also like to make them colorful.  In the technique I used this week, I added color to embossing folders with words on them.

This folder makes a general card for the fall season.  I chose a Kaleidacolor ink pad in multiple autumn colors.  I used a brayer to roll the color from the ink pad to inside of embossing folder.  Tip: brayer ink onto inside with letters backwards so the words can be read.  I then placed a piece of cardstock into folder and ran it through the Big Shot.  I found that you get less slippage if you run the open end through the rollers first.

I repeated this with some other folders and different colors of ink.

I chose cardstock for borders that worked well with the ink colors.  You can see the slippage in some of these because I forgot my rule about putting open side first through the Big Shot.  I made multiples of all of these.  They are all mounted on either cream or white card bases.

Since I don't do videos, I decided to repeat the process to take photos.  I hope this helps to explain the process.

These photos show the brayering process.  My brayer and ink pad aren't wide enough for the folders, so I turn them upside down to ink the other side.

These photos show placing cardstock inside folder and running it through the Big Shot.

These show the finished product.  I will need to trim the edges to make room for a framing layer on an A2 card.  I use a pad of newsprint paper under the brayering to protect table.  Ink is water based and just washes off the folder and brayer.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Looking for good news in life

I'm trying to find some good news along with all the sad news I've received recently.  This morning, I found my little cactus on the patio producing a lovely flower, larger than the plant itself.

I have 4 of these cacti in a pot on my patio.  They all have buds and love this hot summer sun.  They bloom during the night.  In the 2nd photo, you can see the small insect pollinating the flower.  Once, pollinated, the flower begins to close.  It's completely closed before noon.

I've made a couple of cards this week to send to family members with serious problems.

The dog in the bag is an unmounted stamp I apparently bought in a grab bag years ago  I've never used it before.  I didn't do a great job of stamping on this card, but it conveys the message.  The sentiment stamp is from Verses.  I'll have to try these stamps again when I'm not in such a hurry.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

OWH Finishing Strong Bloghop
To go to beginning of bloghop, click HERE.

Operation Write Home, a charity that has supported heroes with handmade cards since 2007, will be closing later this year. All cards need to be sent in by August 1st, so I’m helping to get the word out!

I first learned about OWH during the Memorial Day Bloghop in 2009.  It was then called Cards for Heroes.  I have been supporting the group with my cards and donations for 5-6 years.  I've been winding down and now the group will also complete their mission.  I have learned a lot from being a part of this group.  To Finish Strong, we are holding a bloghop to spread the word and give more support to our deployed heroes.

I used this sketch to design my card.
Love cards are very popular for our heroes to send to loved ones back home.  I used a Darice embossing folder to create the heart background, patting Brilliance Rocket Red ink over the embossed hearts.  I cut the embossed background to obtain the sketch design.  The hearts are cut with Spellbinders dies and the love is cut with a Memory Box die (actually 2 layers glued together for stability).

If you are a cardmaker, please be sure to mail your cards so they will arrive by August 1.  It's still important to follow the guidelines found HERE.

You may go HERE to see the rest of the bloghop entries.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Inspired by nature

Enjoying my hummingbirds outside inspired me to use one of my hummingbird stamps to make a birthday card.  This is for another family member who loves these little birds.
I stamped this unmounted (unidentified) stamp onto watercolor paper.  I colored it with a combination of watercolor pencils and Twinkling H2Os.  You can't see the shimmer, but it shows in real life.  I cut out the watercolored image with a stitched rectangle die from Simon Says Stamp, leaving wing and tail to hang over the edge.  I used more of the dies to cut the other layers.  I like these dies because they leave a nice faux stitched edge on both sides of the cut line.  The outer border is just a narrow strip glued onto base card.

The sentiment is a gold sticker.  I added a tiny gem for center of flowers.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Hummingbird at feeder

Yesterday, a friend was visiting with her dog.  I have a sliding glass door with a doggie door in my kitchen that connects to the patio.  The dogs run in and out at will.  I have a hummingbird feeder hanging from the patio roof.
A little guy that looked like this one flew into my glass door and was lying on the patio near the doggie door.  My friend held the dogs back while I went and tried to pick up the little hummingbird.  He tried to fly, but couldn't gain altitude.  I picked him up and put him in one of my tall cypress trees.  He stayed there quite a while.  I decided to take my camera outside to check on him.  He saw me and flew into my neighbor's mimosa tree.  I can't tell these little guys apart, but I took these photos today and hope he's one of them.

They do also perch on the rail, but this is the only photo I've caught showing that.
I call this bird 'he' because the females have a green head, instead of this dark head.  I have a lot of them eating from this new feeder and the flowering shrubs in my yard.  I also have an oriole feeder for the bigger birds.

PS:  Later in the day, I managed a photo of the female.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Belated birthday

I got lost in personal life again and missed a family birthday.  I pulled out one of my previously made backgrounds and quickly put this card together.  The belated message is inside the card.
I must get back to making some cards for my stash to avoid being late for birthdays.

I'm enjoying the warmer weather.  We've had many days in the upper 90s and go over 100° occasionally.  We've also had a lot of wind, but the shrubs and the birds and bees are happy.

Did you notice the bird that landed on the light as I was taking photos of the pink oleander in the first photo?  The hummingbirds love those red oleanders and the jasmine smells great.