Friday, August 18, 2017

Shannon's Donations to Karen's Card Shop

I've received two sets of donations to Karen's Card Shop this week. The first came in from Shannon in Maryland...over 50 cards, mostly sympathy and get well, our fastest sellers.

If you're considering donating to the Card Shop, please know that we truly, desperately need  sympathy and get well cards. Our buyers are mostly the older ladies in the church who mainly want to send sympathy, get well, and birthday cards. Most other themes (except thank you, which are often used by church staff) don't sell well for us.

I especially appreciate all donations of the sympathy and get well cards because I CANNOT keep up with the demand for those. Not even close. They sell really fast!

Many thanks to Shannon for sharing her beautiful work for a good cause. The money we make at Karen's Card Shop goes to three purposes in our church: Cancer: What Now? books for all our church attendees who are diagnosed with cancer, books for Stephen Ministers to use with their care receivers, and the church's general fund. To date, we've made over $840 in a little over a year.

For those interested in setting up their own card shops, you'll find the details of Karen's Card Shop here.

And now, a few of Shannon's many cards.

This bookish beauty was for me! 

Shannon uses a lot of kraft card stock to beautiful effect.

This was my favorite of the lot! White embossing,
a lovely gradation of teal ink, vellum, and sequins.

Gorgeous embossing and use of the diecuts. Plus,
an amazingly soothing color combination.

Another sweet kraft card with just the right touches
of white and an awesome pink heart.

More pressure embossing, great colors, and excellent
placement of diecuts. Love the light feel
of this card.

Butterflies were Karen's favorite...she grew them and released
them with her grandchildren every year. Such a beautiful
card by Shannon with a perfect ribbon, vellum
over dark card stock, and lovely butterflies!

Why not take an idea from one of Shannon's amazing cards and get inspired this weekend?

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Christmas Evolution, Part Three

Today, Ellen Hutson's Facebook page asked us to summarize our stamping style in one word.

My word was minimalist.

Today's card makes that point.

All that glorious white space fills my heart with holiday joy!

This card represents the third step in minimalist evolution of an idea. To refresh your mind, here's the original pin; my first card...a rather literal interpretation of the pin; and my second card...a simplified version of the first card. Combine that evolution with the focal point of this pin, and today's card was born.

Two shades of green card stock punched with a fern punch replace the three shades of marker on the pine branch stamp of the cards from Christmas Evolution, Part One and Part Two. Punched once in dark green and twice in lime, the ferns are glued with a glue pen. The bottom lime green fern is glued to the card base completely, while the next two ferns are glued only on the top third. I worried this would be too loose, but it's actually pretty sturdy.

Instead of baker's twine or satin ribbon, I went with solid red twine. The bow was glued down at the center with a dot of white glue and weighed down with my cell phone until dry.

The resulting swag says Christmas without any words.

Evolution of an idea can take you to strange and wonderful places. Let it. I had so much fun making all three of these cards!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: none
ink: none
paper: Papertrey white, dark green, lime green
accessories: red twine, glue pen, fern punch

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Christmas Evolution, Part Two

Yesterday's card was quite satisfying, but the more I looked at it, the more it seemed fussy to my clean-and-simple-loving eye. Inspired by the packaging on this pin, my first card had done its job. But how could I make it less fussy and cleaner and simpler (CASer)?

First, I abandoned the idea of decorative wrapping. Instead, I focused on that fabulous pine branch. Turning the pine branch into a swag eliminated the need for lots of twine because now a simple bow would suffice. Also, no need for a tag! I could let the branch point down directly to a sentiment. This, of course, required a narrower sentiment.

The twine, however, looked oddly light as a bow for the simply didn't have enough visual weight to balance a red sentiment below the branch. I replaced it with a thin, satin ribbon in solid red and found the right balance.

This design didn't require any additions to the pine branch, a simplification that spared me the post-its.

An advantage to yesterday's card is the sense of movement it offers...from the swing of the large twine bow to the angle of the tag to the angle of the branch. Today's card is compact and linear, with just a little curve in branch. That lack of movement is a weakness, I think, but nevertheless, there's a peace and stability to the CASer version that truly makes me happy.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Hero Arts red royal
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: craft foam, glue, Memento markers, water spritzer, red satin ribbon

Monday, August 14, 2017

Christmas Evolution, Part One

I went to my son's special education open house tonight. He's starting ninth grade, and he was very tired. You see, I asked him a week and a half ago to pull weeds. He kept putting it off until yesterday and today. A job that should have taken one hour has taken him about six because, as he is learning, weeds don't pull themselves while you kneel next to them and daydream.

At the open house, he told every teacher we met that he doesn't want to work. Every teacher said he would have to work...but they would make it fun!

Now, I want to go to ninth grade. Jack wants to stay home, watch movies, eat pretzels, and interact with as few people as possible. Except for band. If school consisted only of band, he'd enjoy it.

Of course, practicing his trumpet at home is work, and he doesn't like work.

My head hurts.

Anyway, today we're starting a three-part series on the evolution of clean-and-simple style by examining how I take a relatively simple design and over the course of three cards make the concept increasingly simple, until a few of you will itch at the amount of white space.

Doesn't that sound like fun?

My first inspiration came from the following pin:


Love this! So much goodness here. My first card shows a pretty direct translation of gift wrapping to a card, although I did change the black to red for a more traditional color scheme.

To create some dimension on the pine branch, I inked up the whole stamp with a Memento new sprout marker, then dabbed Memento bamboo and cottage ivy markers over the new sprout in a random way. Finally, a couple of spritzes of water blended the colors, and the resulting image is lovely! (Note that I did add another frond to the branch as it looked a bit skimpy on the stamped panel.)

This card took a shockingly long time to make. Three attempts on the banner (don't ask) and getting the bow just right and adding to the pine branch...not so simple. Check out the accessories list of NINE items. That never happens.

Tomorrow, we'll see how I took that branch and gave it a CASer setting and much smaller accessory list.

Did I just invent a new word? CASer? Wow. Now I'm too lazy to type cleaner-and-simpler. Jack's rubbing off on me.

And since this post is degenerating into acronym abuse, let's end with two pictures of our roly-poly puppy. He's five weeks old and cute beyond words! Labor Day weekend can't come soon enough.

Serious Pup...or Disapproving Pup. Hard to tell.

Happy Pup. Obviously.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and puppies,

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Hero Arts red royal
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dimensional, craft foam, glue, baker's twine, tape runner (to attach twine on back of raised panel...'cause that's easier than getting the twine lined up regularly), Memento markers, water spritzer, post-its to add frond to branch, awl to punch hole in tag because the hole punch mangled the first two tags, which has never happened before and did not amuse me

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Feeling Grateful for Pinterest

Y'all, Pinterest is fabulous. I adore it. It's perfectly acceptable hoarding for minimalists. I can pin anything, and it doesn't take up any space and requires no plastic bins for storage. If you want to follow my cards page on Pinterest, click here. To see the rest of my boards, click here.

Note that the latest Google updates turned off my Pinterest button, but I've turned it back on.

This pin inspired today's card.

Card size 6 1/4" x 3 1/2"

My colors aren't an exact match (my pink is brighter and my green is mintier), and the stamps have a completely different feel from the original, but you can certainly see the provenance of this card. I did change the shape of the card and placed the sentiment closer to the squares.

So by changing the stamps, shades of colors, and tweaking the layout, you can get a "different" card. Don't feel like you always have to go radically different with an inspiration piece.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts (sentiment), Papertrey Embellished Elegance
ink: Memento grape jelly, Hero Arts tidal pool and cotton candy, Archival black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: craft foam, glue, rhinestones

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Cards Received and a Question

I've received some lovely cards in the past month.

From Pat. Pat's choice of colors makes me so summery and happy!
The black scalloped border is perfect with the black embossed sentiment,
and the sequins add just the right amount of shine.

From Linda. Her watercolor effects are simply stunning,
and the scalloped border  with stitching add a subtle,
perfect frame.

From Eva. Eva's cards are usually more embellished and layered...for this one,
she wanted to make something more LateBlossomy. I just love the clean
simplicity of her simple blossoms!

Thank you, Pat, Linda, and Eva for brightening my days!

Isn't it simply splendid how our hobby lets us express ourselves in so many ways? I adore all three cards--not just because they were sent to me, but because they show the range of styles we can embrace, try out, experiment with.

What style are you playing with this weekend? Is it your usual style, or are you branching out? What style are you most drawn to? Or are you a promiscuous stamper who will flirt with all sorts of styles?

Inquiring minds, and all that.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Snail Mail

Today's card was inspired by this pin of a scrapbook page. I adore the scrapbook page (it's almost enough to get me back into scrapping) and wanted to do something colorful with the You're a Fungi set from Hero Arts. Two different ideas came together to make this.

The snail and mushroom were colored with Copics.

The unusual layout of the scrapbook page yielded up an extremely unique layout for the card. It's quite satisfying, actually!

Many thanks for the comments and emails regarding Red and the heroin epidemic. I'll keep you posted on the puppy!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts You're a Fungi
ink: Memento black
paper: Gina K white, StampinUp black
accessories: Copics, ruler, black marker