Thursday, September 25, 2014

Trying Something New with Acetate, Alcohol, and Blendabilities

Yes, that's a mouthful of a title, but when I saw what my friend Michelle had posted on her blog the other day I knew I had to give it a try.  She does great video tutorials and this was no exception.  She used SU's new Blendabilities markers on a piece of acetate and then spritzed/dripped alcohol onto it and let it dry.  

The alcohol treated side is face down on this card and a good thing too, because as Michelle illustrated in her video, I was a bit sloppy stamping my sentiment in Stazon ink on the front so I had to wipe it off (several times I must admit) with a paper towel with alcohol on it before I got it straight.  Like Michelle pointed out, should I have done this on the other side, I would have lost the design.  I CASed the layout that she used for her demo card.  And one thing that I did learn was that transparency film is a little different from acetate.  I had a few sheets of transparency film for copy machines and they must be treated with something to get the toner to stick to them and dry quickly.  Both the pens and the alcohol itself had no movement on the transparency sheet, so I'm glad I was able to put my hands on a piece of acetate to give this a try.  

I used colors from the Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, and Melon Mambo Blendabilities sets.  In contrast I used the challenge that my friend Sabrina posted on Splitcoast on Monday for the Technique Lover's Challenge.  She challenged stampers to use the Stamp Etching technique and to add a little sparkle to note the 500th challenge posted.   So I stamped my flower on Whisper White, used my Micron pen to add the etching lines and fussy cut it out.  The sparkle I added was the three little sequins you see scattered about.  In the picture you can barely make out the mini glue dot that I used (on all four corners) to attach the acetate piece to the card base.  

And just throwing this in here, my anniversary card to HWNSNBP.  We celebrated our 37th anniversary yesterday quietly at home. 

I was aiming to have the bird and branch die (Marianne dies) look like a woodcut.  Actually, I thought about trying to use the etching technique on the die cut but the subject matter was too small for it to have the correct effect.  So I thought this might appear to be etched out of the wood - or carved into it - and stained.  Adding the yellow leaves was an afterthought that I kind of wish I had forgotten about!  I'm really glad that I added color to them or he might have thought they were lemons!  Or maybe he did and just didn't say...................

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Is it Okay to Wear White After Labor Day? Well......

that's not really the question.  Is it okay to use pastel colors on cards after Labor Day?  I guess most people wouldn't think about that, but it did cross my mind this week as I was working on some cards that I needed.  Then I thought about the cards that you would see in the card or grocery stores and they pretty much have pastels for various occasions all year round.  So I think I answered my own question.  

In any case, the sympathy card below was for a co-worker who lost her mother (and, I've come to find out her mother-in-law) in the last week.  What a sad time for their families.  

This card, on the other hand was made for my mother for her birthday coming up this week.  And after I finished it I had second thoughts about the colors thinking that it looked too spring-like .....

so I made another one with more fall-like colors.  

She liked it.  And I guess, since I didn't put a sentiment on the first one, I'll have a nice card to use in the spring for any occasion.  So add this to the advantages of making your own cards - you don't have to settle for pastels year-round, you can choose your own colors and design them for any season.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Jingle Belles - Sketch-tivus for the Rest of Us - Festive Friday Too!

Well it is and it possibly isn't what you think.  My family, as avid Seinfeld fans, would probably associate this title with the celebration of holidays other than Christmas - as in "Festivus" - which rhymes with our title Sketch-tivus which actually means that we have a lovely sketch guiding us to our creations this time.

I turned the sketch on it's side and used it that way for my card this time.  

I also used the inspiration photo from Festive Friday  and not one stamp believe it or not.

I went with the pink despite my thinking that perhaps, as in the past, we will be using pink in October on the Jingle Belles challenge.  But not to worry, as I'm not afraid to use pink for Christmas and if we do have that challenge, I'm up for it.

I'm actually thinking that this might be a good card for my daughter to use as hers for the holidays this year, possibly in other pastel shades or even Crumb Cake, hmmmmmmmmm...... I'll have to check with her on that.  

Just as a designing note - the sentiment banner is vellum cardstock and I had to figure out how to attach it to the card front without seeing the adhesive, therefore I adhered the PEACE die cut to the vellum first and was able to dot glue on the back of the vellum behind the die cut before, there is some sticky tape on it behind where the trees are, and another dab of glue under where I placed the sequin.  Vellum can be tricky, but not impossible, depending on how many embellishments you add.

For the deets - Pink Pirouette, Whisper White, Silver Foil, Silver Glitter, and Vellum cardstock were used.  Memory Box dies for the corner snow swirl and PEACE.  The trees where punched with SU punches.  Silver glitter gel pen was added to the edges of the sentiment banner and I started it all by using SU's Lucky Stars embossing folder.

Please head on over to the Jingle Belles and Festive Friday blogs to see the other lovely creations.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another Way to Say Thank You

Another way ....... in another language.  Polish to be exact.  When I saw this Memory Box die in Ellen Hutson's store I immediately put it on my wish list.  My mother is Polish, my father was Dutch, so I am Dolish or Putch, whichever way you choose to look at it.  My mother speaks Polish, as did my grandparents whom we lived above growing up.  There are a handful of words that I know in that language and Dziekuje (Thank You) is one of them.  I thought this would be nice to have on hand for cards I might make for my relatives (and friends) who speak a little Polish.  And as a note, the person I sent this card to was so tickled to get it.

What you see below is not a card, it is a page for a scrapbook that HWNSNBP needed for work.  One of the cafeteria workers that was with his company for many years is moving to Florida and they wanted to put something together from all the employees to wish her well and thank her for her cheerful service to them all these years.  We decided a beach scene would be good and he wrote something on the line of ..... I hope you enjoy many sunrises and sunsets in your new home.  

And speaking of sun ..... the Sunshine group from work sent me a card signed with messages from them all and a gift card to use while I'm recuperating.  Of all the times to be out of work this has probably been the worst time - the start of the school year.  There is so much that I am responsible for getting set up and though I'm trying to help out from home, I know it's the little details and extras that I do that are getting missed (which some of the messages reminded me of) and I feel bad about that.  

I made this center of the sun by punching out a circle in Daffodil Delight and then covering it with Washi tape in the same color.  Then I covered the whole thing with Crystal Effects and sprinkled diamond dust on it to give it some sparkle.  

As if I needed one more thing to deal with, I have a tooth that started acting up over the weekend and have to make a trip to the dentist today.  My least favorite place to go.  Keeping my fingers crossed it will be an easy fix!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Blue - Spotting Your Own Photo**

I happened upon this challenge called Spotting Your Own Photo which proved to be quite a diversion for me.  You see, you have to go through photos you've already taken which is kind of the opposite of most photo challenges that I've seen.  Most times I've seen prompts posted and then you go out and find something to photograph to fit that prompt.  In this case, you're given a prompt and then have to go through your files and find pictures you've taken that would apply to that prompt.  

Having only seen this last week, I missed the prompt for August which was "Show Your Love For Animals" which we all know would not have been a problem for me to find pictures of animals.  I know for a fact that I have more pictures of animals than I do of people.   

So I was ready to jump in with the September prompt "Photos of Your Favorite Color".  I don't think any of these pictures were taken solely for their color, though I will admit that I am attracted to blue flowers.   I had fun combing through my files but then I had to "educate" myself in making a photo collage.  Thanks to PicMonkey I figured it out.

The Story of Blue

Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived in a very small apartment with her parents and her two sisters and two brothers.  She had to share a room with her two sisters and they slept on a trundle bunk bed, her bed being the trundle.  

This little girl had a cousin who had no brothers and sisters and who was treated like a little princess. She had beautiful new clothes, no hand-me-downs, toys and a room all to herself.

Every once and a while the little princess' parents would ask the little girl to come over for a visit and she would stay in the princess' room both of them sharing her giant bed.  

They would play with all the dolls and go exploring outside.  The little princess once even told the little girl that there was a giant who lived in the field full of beautiful blue morning glories beyond the trees in her backyard.  

One day, as they were playing outside with another cousin they started talking about favorites.  The visiting cousin asked "what is your favorite color?".  The little girl said "green" but she was immediately told by the little princess that she could not have green as her favorite color because the little princess' favorite color was green.  The little princess told the little girl that she must choose another color or she would never be allowed to come over and sleep in the big bed or play with the beautiful toys again.

The little girl didn't want to choose another color but she also did not want to be banished from visiting the little princess.  Remembering the story of the giant who lived in the field full of beautiful blue morning glories beyond the trees - a place of fear and wonder to the little girl - she thought of those beautiful blue morning glories and chose blue.

Blue was the color of the bike she bought with her communion money. Blue was the color of the velvet dress her mother made for her to wear to her first family wedding. Blue was the color of her first car.  Blue was the color that she painted her bedroom when she got married.  Blue was the color of the dress she wore to her son's wedding.

Blue was and still is her favorite color.  And even though all these years later some would say she was bullied into choosing it, she is happy she chose blue.  

**Edited to add clickable link to PicMonkey.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Jingle Belles - Baby It's GOLD Outside

Can you guess what our prompt is?  I bet you can.  GOLD.  One of the trends going on in the stamping/scrapbooking world is to use gold in your designs.  So I headed to my paper trove and found all the gold I could work with and came up with...........TAH DAH

My ornament is a Memory Box die called Lydia ornament that both cuts and embosses what you see on the top layer.  I did not purchase the die that makes the back of the ornament choosing to just trace around the edge of the die onto the texture gold paper and cutting it out with scissors.  I did have to use an Exacto knife to get the hole in the hanger part, but it wasn't difficult.  The most difficult part of using these intricate dies is gluing them down.  It's so easy to put too much glue on the back and glue smears show up terribly well on foil cardstock, but I think I managed to avoided any big messes.

I used a rectangle of gold glitter paper and the sentiment is in gold foil paper again using an Elizabeth Craft die.  The vertical ribbon is a favorite that I found at Mike's a couple of years ago, but checking the holiday ribbon selection a couple of weeks ago they have it again.  It too is a bugger to glue down, but in this case I made sure that the ribbon folded over the top and bottom of the top panel so I could use sticky tape on the back to adhere it.  Taping the glitter panel over the top also helps secure it in place.  

The top panel was embossed with a Cuttlebug embossing folder - forgot the name - and when I first added that panel to the card backing I immediately regretted not putting in another layer of gold. Fixed that however with a gold gel pen - v e r y   c a r e f u l l y.

The picture below is in normal light and don't you notice the difference in the shades of gold?  The whole card has a warmer look to it and not so brassy as when under photo light.  

I just checked my box of Christmas cards against my Christmas card list and I am sadly lacking enough cards so I think I will do this card again in another color combination.  Or maybe the gold again, but have the top embossed part of the ornament in white this time.  

Let's see how the other ladies came along with their Midas Touch beauties - click here.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Blossoms, Birds, and a Pie Review

I finally tried my SU Blendabilities and put some of my try-outs to good use on some needed cards this past week.  The above card is an anniversary card for my cousin and her husband.  She loves pink and to keep it from being too feminine I used that triangle background paper in green.

A close friend of my cousin just underwent hip replacement surgery for both hips.  I have been fortunate enough to have met her on a couple of occasions and wanted to wish her well in her recovery.  That big Blackberry Bliss flower above was for her.

Below is another bloom in Calypso Coral shades for our very good friends who are also celebrating their anniversary this week.

I added two little wooden birds (thanks Sabrina) to the burlap trim.  

Here is a sampling of the blooms that I colored.  I tried coloring them both ways, light to dark and dark to light and I don't really see any difference.

Oh, except on this last one that highlights a new technique called Etching.  You use a fine-tip marker to add mucho lines to the petals on the inner surface as well as the tip of the petal leaving a white space in between to look like light reflected and thus giving the petals some dimension.  You could do this in any color on any color paper, but I chose to try black and white first.

Last weekend HWNSNBP wanted to go for a walk in one of the local parks.  Luckily I had brought along the camera just in case I saw anything picture worthy and I was very glad that I did.

Along the road of the park entrance I had been looking at the field of wildflowers/weeds when my eye caught this guy below.  I asked HWNSNBP to turn around and come back down the road so I could capture him with the camera.  

In the picture below we were right alongside him but up the road embankment.  He looked a little cautious and was starting to move away at this point.

On our short walk through the park (it was very hot and I'm still rebuilding my strength) we saw these plants growing in a ditch along the pathway.  They are called Jewelweed or Spotted Touch-me-not and the indians used this plant to combat the effects of poison ivy.  

The next picture is a little blurry, but inside the flower you can see the red spots.  HWNSNBP wanted to know how I knew these things as I was pointing out other "flowering weeds" in the ditch and I reminded him that I had a field guide that I used many, many years ago to identify some of the flowering plants that were growing in the area around our neighborhood.  Some of them, like the Jewelweed, have disappeared having either been consumed by the deer or cut down by homeowners. 

 I find this sad in a way, because some of those flowers, like chicory and tickseed sunflowers (wild coreopsis) were so pretty even though they are considered weeds.  

A few of you asked to let you know how my buttermilk pie turned out.  Well, it tasted pretty good, however, I made quite the mess trying to put it in the oven myself (I'm not supposed to be bending yet).  I will confess that I did not make the crust from scratch.  HWNSNBP picked up a package of frozen pie crusts for me and after I let it thaw, I pinched up the edges, but apparently not enough.  There was more batter than would fit in the pie shell and wanting to use as much as I could I filled the pie crust to the brim.  Needless to say, from the counter to the oven it started to escape and run over the edges and continued to do so in the oven making a big mess.  At that point I turned off the oven and had him pull it out and we waited til the oven cooled off a bit so he could clean up the mess on the bottom that had already started to burn.  I removed some of the filling and put some aluminum foil on the cookie sheet to catch anything that might escape after that, but none did.  I think I would definitely use a bigger pie shell the next time.  Oh, and because there was lemon juice and grated lemon in the batter, it tasted mostly like a lemon custard pie on the verge of coconut.  I think I will add some coconut next time and cut back on the lemon a little.  

And while I'm at it, this is a picture of the peach butter on some toasted English muffins and cream cheese.  It's a little more syrupy than I would like but it tastes delicious!

And finally, we got to see some of the "white birds" this weekend.  Boy was yesterday hot.  The hottest day of the summer so far and humid way past the point of comfort.  

If you could have heard the noise that went along with this picture and the way that they seem to be partially lined up you might have thought that this was a chorus line and the cormorants were getting ready for practice much quicker than the egrets.

Wouldn't it be great to see them do a pinwheel?

I hope you had a lovely weekend.  We are going to have some cooler, less humid days this week that I am looking forward to.  I do my "laps" in the early morning and early evening when it's not as hot around a portion of our backyard that used to be half a basketball court.  You should hear the bluejays yell at me when I get too close to the suet feeder.  I just tell them to come back when I'm done!