Thursday, October 5, 2017

Respect for life


Life is precious.  It is a gift from our creator and should be preserved.  I cannot understand why so many people are willing to destroy the life of others.  This thought was recently revived by the way a mass murderer can take the life of people he didn’t even know. 

This disrespect for life has been growing over the years.  I first became aware of this when I saw how easily people destroy the life of a tiny life before the baby has enough awareness to protect itself.  The sheer number of abortions is overwhelming.  How can anyone just callously murder these tiny beings?  I just can’t understand.

I hear so much hate language and total disrespect for others that makes it possible to destroy the precious life of another human being.  There seems to be no tolerance for the beliefs of those who do not agree with us.   Humans have a great brain to form their own opinions and the more we learn to listen to the thoughts of others, the better we will understand our differences.
Over the years, I’ve noticed great divisions in groups of people.  I have always believed that we are all created equal and should be able to coexist on the earth.  Why all the division.   For some reason, groups are influenced to disrespect and even hate those who disagree with them.  What or who is making this hate and disrespect grow so intently?

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Watercolor Thanksgiving

I've made a few more watercolor backgrounds to make Thanksgiving cards.  This is the first one I've assembled.


I also made a birthday card for a good friend with the Hero Arts layered pumpkins.  I did a lot of masking to get the two pumpkins and stems lined up.  The ovals are popped with some foam tape, but that doesn't show in the photo.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

More autumn cards

I had one piece of the Color Burst watercolor backgrounds left, so I cut it into strips for these three cards.  The sunflower and pumpkins are from the Hero Arts stamp set.



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

More autumn cards

I managed to assemble 2 more autumn cards on watercolor backgrounds.  These use an oak leaf and acorn.  The first card has die cuts flat on paper and the second card has them popped on foam tape.






Monday, September 18, 2017

Autumn cards

Sorry, I took a break from making cards, but I managed to create cards with a couple of the Color Burst backgrounds I made earlier.
 

The leaf was cut with an old Spellbinders die from Core-dinations cardstock, then sanded to reveal the core.  I wasn't pleased with the color that showed with the sanding, so I dabbed some orange ink over the scored veins.  The Sunflower is from a new Hero Arts set.  I have more cards started and will show them soon.


Saturday, September 2, 2017

More Color Burst trials

Yesterday, a friend came to visit and wanted to see how I used Color Burst.  I tried to brush on the water, then lightly dust with the Burnt Orange Color Burst.  It wasn't showing well, so I sprayed it lightly with water.  The paper got a little too wet, so I tipped it to allow the water to run.  This created the muted lower left side.

I tried once more on a fresh piece of watercolor paper.  This time, I ended up with a big blob of the powder, so I used the brush to spread it out a bit.  This totally changed the look to a flat solid brown, so I added some coarse salt and covered it with wrinkled plastic wrap.



The final image is with the paper dried and salt removed.  In the previous image, the salt is still on the paper.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Playing with Color Burst powder

Yesterday, I spent the day testing the Color Burst powders to make backgrounds for cards.  I only bought 2 colors at a rare visit to a craft store.  After the tests in the previous post,  I decided that I needed to clean up the desk and my hardboard because that powder spreads everywhere.  It's a very fine dust and very concentrated color.  If touched by water, it really shows it's presence.  I thought perhaps the left over dust from first test contaminated the second sample.  However, I learned that the bottle contains many colors.
 
 I wet the paper with a brush instead of the spray bottle.  I then added a smaller amount of the dust.  This allowed the individual colors to show.

In this sample, I used the same technique as the other one, but got a large puff of the powder in one area.  I attempted to remove some, but it was already wet.  I sprayed on more water and used a paper towel to absorb as much as I could, but it left a dark mess is center of paper.  I may have to cover it with a large die cut.

In this sample, I used only the brush to add water to paper, then spritzed a small amount of the dust onto the wet paper.  Again, you can see all the colors in that one bottle.

Lessons learned:
1.  Clean off your desk first, so surface is easy to clean up after each test.
2.  Use water and powder sparingly to avoid a big mess.
3.  Clean everything thoroughly after creating such a mess.




Thursday, August 31, 2017

Color Burst trials

Today, I'm playing with making backgrounds for cards with Color Burst powder.  In this first one, I used 2 colors of the powder onto wet watercolor paper.  I allowed this to air dry overnight.  I think too much water muted the colors and they blended more than I desired.

In the second sample, I added only one color of the powder to dry watercolor paper, then lightly sprayed it with water.  There were some bare spots, so I added more powder and sprayed it again.  After this, I partially dried it with my heat tool.
It looks a bit like there's some blue in the finished background, but I only added the Burnt Orange powder.  Now, to try to make some fall cards from these backgrounds.  Stay tuned for results.






Watercolor rose

I'm still playing with the watercolor backgrounds that I made earlier.  This card also uses some new dies to cut out layers.
The rose and leaves were made with a set of layered flowers by Papertrey Ink.  I placed the rose on oval dies by Die-namics from My Favorite Things.  The outer rectangles are cut with Sizzix dies.  I tried really hard to get all the little dots punched out around the edges.  The Hello is a die from a set by Impression Obsessions.  I finished off the rose with some clear Wink of Stella pen for some sparkle.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Watercolor anniversary card

I've been working on creating cards with the watercolor backgrounds that I created earlier.  This background was a little dark and busy and many designs didn't work well with it.  I thought that gold embossing would show up, but didn't.  I filled in the heart, flowers and leaves with pearlescent watercolors.  It took several layers to make them show.  I even added some clear Wink of Stella pen to the heart for some sparkle.  The sentiment was completely lost in the background, so I stamped it on white cardstock and added a red frame to cover the stamped sentiment.  I also added a gold ribbon to anchor the sentiment.

I used Sizzix rectangle dies to cut out the layers.  I didn't notice until card was assembled that the pierced holes didn't punch all the way through.  I'll have to pay more attention the next time I use these dies.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Warm wishes

I'm continuing to make cards with the watercolor backgrounds that I created earlier.  This card is for a male relative who has a birthday soon.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Dragonfly watercolor

We've been in monsoon season here in the desert, with wind, thunder, lightning and rain.  This has interfered with my card making.  I have managed to create a new card with the background I made earlier with watercolor.
I managed to make a trip to a nearby city and went to a craft store.  I bought some new Memory Box dies to make this card.  The grass and 2 dragonflies are on one die and the 3 smaller dragonflies are in another set.  I already had ordered the sentiment dies that contain the Hello.  This card is completely flat, with looks like it may have some depth.  I have some other new toys that I'll try to use later.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Salted & wrapped watercolor

I decided to use some old, but never used stamps.  This set is by Papertrey and is called The Sweet Life.  It's made up of clear stamps and dies to make roses and leaves with 3 part stamps.  This has been a learning progress for me.  First, I made some backgrounds, using the salted & wrapped watercolors.  He's one in progress:

The top photo shows the wet watercolor with salt and plastic wrap added.  The lower photo shows the finished product.  I cut these backgrounds down to card size and looked for solid color cardstock to add a frame.  Then I started stamping and cutting out the roses and leaves in various colors.  Here's my results so far.

My next step will be to turn these into assembled cards.  I did complete one for a birthday card, but forget to take a photo before mailing it.

It's now afternoon and I managed to assemble one card to show you.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Salted watercolor

We are still having inside weather here in the desert.  Most days, it's over 110° F. here in the desert.  This means that I have more time to spend inside and the craft room fills much of the time.  In my last post, Susan suggested that I try adding salt to my watercolor, so I tried it.



On both of these cards, I added watercolor ink to watercolor paper, then sprinkled with coarse grind salt, then covered with wrinkled plastic wrap and allowed it to dry.  After cutting to size, I used a double stitch die to all edges.  I stamped with Penny Black rubber stamps with Smokey Gray Ink by Versafine.  A coordinating layer was added before mounting on white card base.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Inside weather


This has been a week to stay inside, as the outdoor temperatures are hot!  This thermometer is on my patio, in the shade.  Needless to say, I didn't spend much time outside.  This is our hottest time of the year here in the southern Nevada desert, so we expect this weather and enjoy being inside.





I have spent a lot of time in my craft room, making cards.  I made the backgrounds with watercolors on watercolor paper.  After spreading very wet blobs of color onto the paper, I placed plastic wrap over it and pressed it down with lots of wrinkles.  Once dry, this gives a variety of results.  I played around with stamps and have found that solid (silhouette style) stamps work the best of this background.


 

I had fun trying to create framing to compliment the in colors.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wrapped watercolor

As I look for ways to motivate me to make more cards, I enjoy reading the blogs and watching videos by great cardmakers.  I really enjoy Jennifer McGuire's creations.  Recently, this technique inspired me:  Wrapped watercolor
This technique involves placing crinkled plastic wrap over a wet watercolor background.  Results can vary greatly.

My creations look nothing like Jennifer's, but I'll keep trying.  My first card turned out really light and I didn't think it would work, so I tried on with more intense colors.  That one looked unusable.
I managed to add some stamps to create an acceptable card.  However, my darker creations gave me a lot of challenges.
I stamped some storm clouds over the upper section, then a row of palm trees in the lower portion.  I didn't like it at all.  Then, I pulled out my Twinkling H2O watercolors and added some glowing sunny areas to create a sunset.  The sentiment seemed appropriate.  This image doesn't show the real glow, so I took a flash photo to show how shiny it really appears.


In real life, the image is somewhere between these two photos.






Monday, June 5, 2017

Man's birthday card

Once again, I'm out of ideas.  My brother's birthday is coming soon and I couldn't think of a card for him.  I decided to use an idea I used a few month's ago for a man's card.
I embossed the background cardstock with a wood grain embossing folder and added some darker brown ink to the raised part.  Next, I stamped the sentiment onto a wooden business card.  I attached the sign with brads, then added the die cut hammer.  The card has a lot of texture and was fun to make.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My challenge

Since I posted that I prefer to design cards with a special recipient in mind, I decided to try to make cards without knowing who will receive them.  It takes much longer for me to do this.  I've been working on these two cards for a couple of weeks.  I'm still not totally satisfied with them.



I started these cards with watercolor paper and Distress inks smooshed on acetate.  I cut the upper layers with dies.  I found it difficult to find cardstock that was compatible with the ink smooshed watercolor paper.  Next, I had to find punches or dies to make component parts of the card.  This is my results.  I may try this again so I'm not always rushing to make cards for family birthdays.

After posting this, I decided to make a change.  Did I improve it or not?



Sunday, May 7, 2017

Trying new things

Here are a few cards I've made recently.  First, I participated in a challenge to use leftover bits in my stash.  I found this old flower that I had colored and didn't like it.  I hadn't thrown it away, so I tried using it on a card.  It's nothing special and I'm deciding what to do with the finished card.


I've been playing with some new dies and watercolor smooshing.  Here's a couple of cards I created with this technique.

 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Special birthday

I was recently reminded that a very special brother-in-law will soon turn 80.  I wanted to help him celebrate across the miles.
This card has the appearance of a lot of texture, but is quite flat in real life.  The background is from DCWV and has small glossy dots.  The sentiments are unmounted and stamped with red Colorbox ink and embossed with Ranger Chinese Red embossing powder.  This powder has small bits of gold mixed with the red.  Pinked circles are cut with Spellbinders Nestability dies.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Ink Smooshing

Recently, I needed a sympathy and decided to try ink smooshing for the background.  I had seen this technique recently on this blog.  I didn't remember exactly how it was done, so I just put distress ink on a piece of acetate, spritzed it with water and placed watercolor paper on top and peeled it off.  In case you're tempted, don't use regular cardstock for this.  I tried that first and had a big fail.  After the background was dry, I stamped the image and sentiment onto background with Versafine Smokey Gray ink.  I cut it out with a die and added a frame, then mounted it on white card base.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Fruit challenge

Once again, a challenge from Karen on Gingerwood Bulletin Board inspired me to make a card.  The challenge is to make a card using fruit.  Strangely enough, I have very few stamps of fruit.  I did find this one and decided it would make a good birthday card for a female relative who works hard and would like nothing more than a day to relax on her birthday.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Why make cards?

I've often wondered what motivates others to make cards, when they are available to purchase.  I make them for several reasons:
  1. I like to personalize cards for the recipient.  I like cards that appear to be made especially for me.  I assume others do also.
  2. I enjoy creating artistic things.
  3. I have so much 'stuff' accumulated that I want to use it up so it doesn't get thrown away when I'm gone.
Why do you make cards?  Do you keep them or mail them?  I've heard others say in their blogs that they don't like to part with their art after creating it.  I avoid this by thinking of the recipient when designing cards.  Besides, my creations aren't that spectacular.  I make cards to make others happy and thought about.

I've been fighting health issues and not making many cards lately.  Here is the latest card that I made.
I made this for a male relative who is working on health issues, with diet and exercise.  He is seriously working on improving his health and I think he will understand my message for his birthday.  I looked for a sentiment for the inside of the card and chose this one:
Since I'm trying to use up my supplies and not add to them, I used very old stamps that I've had for years.  I know the stamps will outlive me, but I have to use the perishable supplies.  I still have lots of cardstock and ink, but the ink pads are gradually ending their use.  Even some reinkers are no longer usable.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Spring birthday

I made this card for a special female relative who lives in Colorado.  The columbine is the state flower of that state.  While the card was in progress, there was a challenge on Gingerwood Bulletin Board to make a card with texture.  I decided to use a Darice embossing folder on the background paper.  I added some Brilliance ink to the raised tree and stamped the birthday sentiment on the tree trunk.  The butterfly is made with a Martha Stewart punch.  Only the body of the butterfly is glued to card and pearls added to body for more texture.  The butterfly wings are free to be raised.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Man's birthday card

Since I was in a creative mood, I made a card for my son's upcoming birthday.  To create this card, I pulled out some very old, long unused supplies.
I used some tan cardstock and placed it in the wood grain embossing folder, then patted some Memento Rich Cocoa ink onto the raised areas.  Using the old original Sizzix die, I cut out an ancient document from the same cardstock.  I placed this die cut into a very old Sizzix Happy Birthday stencil. 

If you've never seen these, they came before the embossing folders were invented.  The brass stencil was glued into a plastic folder and another piece of plastic, embossed with sentiment, is inside back of folder.  I then removed brass stencil from folder and used it to add color to raised letters.  I added some of same ink to edges of sign for the distressed look

The hammer and nails were cut with the small Sizzlet die.  I used both silver and brown paper.  I cut the handle from the brown paper and glued it on top of silver handle.  I then glued the brown hammer head under the silver head.  I placed the nails through small holes in the corners and glued the 'sign' onto the woodgrain paper.  I used tiny brads in the lower corners, with heads painted silver.  I attached the hammer onto card with foam tape to give it some dimension.

I added a dark brown frame and adhered it to a cream cardstock.