Friday, March 24, 2017

Another Celtic Cross Card

As I stared at these two cards, it occurred to me that the layers could be reduced by one if I stamped the background on the base of the card.

Lo, it's simpler. And still quite lovely!

The silver border helps define the raised panel better...necessary given the incredibly light color of the Sicilian blue background. The London gray (Memento Luxe) and Sicilian blue (Impress Fresh Ink) create such a soft, serene effect, and a single light blue rhinestone brings focus to the whole design.

Soft colors may not be as eye-catching as bright ones, but there is a gentle beauty to them all the same.

And who couldn't use a little gentle beauty right now?

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: PSX, Judikins
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Memento Luxe London fog, Impress Fresh Ink Sicilian blue
accessories: craft foam, glue, Prismacolor silver metallic marker, ruler, rhinestone 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

One of Those Days

Have you ever stepped on the scale and thought, "Wow, that's pretty good. I think I'll pig out today!"

Today was one of those days. I'm regretting (but only slightly) the pita bread wedges toasted with parmesan and mozzarella and dipped in marinara. And the Starbucks mocha. And the Little Debbie Swiss cake rolls. And the Girl Scout thin mints.

To be fair, there were only four thin mints. I found them in a bin on my craft desk where I'd hidden them from Son #1 who has even less control than I have with those little bits of Girl Scout crack minty deliciousness.

Tomorrow I will be good and eat lettuce and be sad, but today, I was AWESOME!

Of course, my pig-out was very un-Lenten, so we must shift our subject awkwardly to Easter and today's card, which is my second-favorite Easter card this year. (Yesterday's card is my favorite.)

6.25" x 3.5"

In contrast to yesterday's card, in which the contrast of the rough, angled cross and the crisp, clean sentiment created tension and wonderful balance, today's card is all about the harmony of crispness. I chose the short, wide card size to add a very strong asymmetry and balances the straight vertical of the cross.

And now I have two Easter card designs that are neither cute nor highly embellished. Whew.

stamps: Simon Says Stamp Rejoice
ink: Memento LuLu lavender, Archival black, Ancient Page amethyst
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: not a one needed for this totally flat, easy-to-mail card!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Easter Blessings

Have you ever noticed how few clean-and-simple Easter cards there are? Oh, you'll find a few stunningly CAS cards like this one from Pinterest, but mostly, Easter cards tend toward more embellishments, designer paper, layers, frills, and die cuts.

Plus, they are often cute, and we all know I'm cute-impaired.

So what's an ultra-CAS stamper to do?

Fret and ruin a bunch of paper, it turns out.


Today, however, my creative Muse chose to speak up after days of silence, and the blog posts today and tomorrow will spotlight the results of her rather condescending dope-slaps on the back of my head.

Truly, when I realized how simple these two cards were, it was definitely a duh moment.

Why is CAS so hard?

That's a rhetorical question.

Anyway, I now have two designs for my personal Easter cards that feel like I made them, which is a blessing.

The first card is absolutely not original. As soon as I made it, I knew that someone has to have come up with this idea before because it truly is so obvious once you see it. Who knows? I might even have seen this concept in my frequent scrolling through Pinterest, the idea might have lodged in my subconscious, and then it resurfaced today in this card and made me feel brilliantly creative for a moment.

This card combines Simon Says Stamp's Rejoice set and My Favorite Things Jumbo Abstract Art. I love how the pastel, loose, and tilted slashes of Memento LuLu lavender contrast with the crisp, clean fonts, dark colors, and perfect straightness of the black and amethyst sentiment.

Balance is a beautiful thing.

How many sheets of Papertrey white cardstock gave their lives before this card was born?

Too many. But persistence pays off.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and Easter blessings,

stamps: Simon Says Stamp Rejoice, MFT Jumbo Abstract Art
ink: Memento LuLu lavender, Archival black, and Ancient Page amethyst
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: not a one was cool is that?!?!?!

Monday, March 20, 2017

My New Favorite Blue

Colors make me happy...light shades, dark shades, everything in between. Colors, colors everywhere!

So many of the Archival ink shades I've been collecting for the past year have truly made me happy, especially manganese blue.

Oh, my.

It's intense, energetic blue. It's electrified blue. It's in-your-face blue.

Ordinarily, blue is a soothing, cool color. Many shades of blue (especially the ones I usually use) are relaxing, calm, serene.

But not manganese blue. It pops right off white cardstock like it was made to be the king of blue-y blues.

All-caps BLUE. Manganese blue pairs nicely with black and holds up well to it.

And really, the colors are my favorite thing about this card. I like how the sentiment coordinates with the images (love those fonts!), and the black Stickles on the flower centers is sparkly and fun, but otherwise, the design doesn't make sense. Why is that line blocking the flowers? How can they grow and "get well" as the card's theme suggests? It's just weird.

A good idea that shouldn't have seen the light of day.

The blue saves it, though. At least, for me, manganese blue saves the card.

It's okay if you don't like it the design, but you just gotta love that blue!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Papertrey Floral Frenzy and sentiment
ink: Archival manganese blue, black
paper: Papertrey
accessories: black Stickles, corner rounder

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Floral Frenzy

In the Great Reintegration of Stamps last week, Floral Frenzy from Papertrey was saved from the Get Rid Of box. For the next few days, we'll take a look at some cards I made with it.

Today, we're looking at two similar cards. The first plays off a layout commonly used with flowers, snowflakes, or any other roundish image. Here's one example from my Cards Board on Pinterest.

These colors look so scrumptious! They are mostly Impress Fresh Ink colors (chamomile, mango, pink lemonade, sugar) with a little Mama Elephant thrown in (moonlight). They look so fresh and spring-like and happy.

The two largest daisy images come from Floral Frenzy, but the two smallest ones come from Beautiful Blooms II. Lovely match, actually.

The second version shifts the orientation to landscape and moves the spray of flowers to the center of the card, while keeping the sentiment in the sweet spot of lower right. The color scheme shifts also to pretty blues...calmer and more soothing than the pink-and-yellow combination.

Again with the Impress Fresh Ink (freesia and Capri) with the Mama Elephant moonlight. The Freesia was a bit too dark for me to feel safe stamping over it, even with black, so I raised the sentiment up on a white banner.

Several people have asked about donating cards to Karen's Card Shop at my church. We have a lot of cards in overstock already, but if you have any get-well or sympathy cards, we would really appreciate them. Those two categories sell really well, and we're having a hard time keeping them in stock. We can use A2-standard size cards. I have envelopes and clear bags to put with them. Email me at gsraihala at roadrunner dot com for the address if you are interested.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Papertrey Floral Frenzy, Beautiful Blooms II, Keep It Simple sentiment
paper: Papertrey white
ink: see above
accessories: dimensionals

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Variations Inspired by Birgit

Y'all, Birgit (biggan of Splitcoast fame) has long inspired me with her clean and artsy style, and when I saw THIS PIN, I knew it was hers before even glancing at the signature. It inspired both my cards for today.

Here's the meandering path my stream of consciousness flowed.

Oh, the medieval manuscript background is sitting out on my baker's rack. Maybe I should do something sort of Celtic; after all, it's March, the month of St. Patrick's Day. What does my Pinterest Cards board have to inspire me?

Oh, wow! Birgit! That's perfect! But no, I can't make a tall, thin card because if these end up in Karen's Card Shop, I won't have a cellophane envelope to fit it. So scale will have to change. That's fine. And no buttons because, well, I don't do buttons. But if I go Celtic, I can use that PSX Celtic cross stamp, and oh boy is it a pretty one that doesn't need a button.

Sponging is fun with these Tim Holtz mini blending tools! My, how easy this is to put down some rich color. Background done, now start on the cross. Hmmm. Needs more definition. Oh, no. That dark brown is too dark. The cross looks dreary now. Try again. Oh, yes! That's much better! Assemble and see if it works. Make sure background is trimmed so one third is stamped, two thirds are white. Layer the cross so one third covers the stamped background and two thirds are over the white.

Rule of thirds squared!

That's more math than my middle-aged brain can handle, actually.

Oh, yes! A bling in the center of the cross draws the eye perfectly. And it's sort of St. Paddy-ish with the hints of green, or maybe an Easter card? Whichever. I like it!

Hmm. It's got lots of white, but might something without sponging be more Lateblossom-y? Let's look at my ink colors. Oh, yes! Sea glass would be lovely with the background stamp, and maybe ocean depth for the cross. Let's try taking our third for the background from the bottom rather than the left. Maybe that would look more grounded.

Dang it. Residue from the brown ink contaminated the sea glass. Ugh. Where's my Grandma's Stamp Cleaner. There it is. *squirt, squirt, wipe, wipe, ink, ink* Much better! Oh how I love the cross stamped in Versamagic ocean depth!

Time to put it all together. Add a bling. Wow, that doesn't look much like Birgit's inspiration card, but man, I sure like it a lot. The fresh, spring-like colors would make a nice Easter card. Yay!

And there you have it. Variations inspired by the brilliant and oh-so-talented Birgit.

Thank you, Birgit, for such a fun and beautiful inspiration card!

stamps: PSX (cross) and Judikins (background)
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Top Card: Archival fern, coffee; Bottom Card: Versamagic ocean depth, Avery Elle sea glass
accessories: craft foam, glue, rhinestones

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Susan for the Save!

The sentiment on today's card was stamped too low for another card design (which I never did get to work, sadly), so the card base with its too-low sentiment sat on my desk looking all forlorn.

Then I thought about Altenew's Botanical Garden and BAM! The perfect use for that sad mistake!

Doesn't that pink butterfly inspire you to get better? It certainly does inspire me as I seem to be coming down with a cold and can use all the inspiration I can get.


Hopefully, you're feeling like the butterfly and without a care in the world.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Papertrey Keep It Simple sentiment, Altenew Botanical Garden
ink: Memento Luxe London fog, rose bud
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: silver metallic marker, craft foam, glue