Sunday, February 18, 2018

Love and Sympathy

This past week our family said goodbye to one of the kindest people you could ever know:  Aunt Carol.  She was my mother's youngest aunt by marriage and absolutely my favorite aunt on that side of the family.  She was super sweet and had the cutest laugh.  I'm grateful that she lived close enough for us to visit often, and that I just went to see her a few weeks ago.
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Aunt Carol loved pink roses, so I dug through my stash looking for the perfect embellishment and found this mulberry paper flower.  It is backed with some extra foliage sprigs, cut with a Spellbinders die.  The sentiment was stamped with Versamark ink and heat-embossed in silver.  I need to remember to do this more often!  It really elevates the level of any card.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great day!  

Green and buttermint cardstock by Bazzill; poppy embossing folder by Anna Griffin for Cuttlebug; sentiment from Stampin' Up; Versamark ink; silver embossing powder; foliage die and scalloped oval Nestabilities by Spellbinders; mulberry flower by Recollections (Michaels); corner rounder punch.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Ring My Bell - Valentine Thank You

Yes, I'm still making valentines!  Kind of.  This is a Valentine-themed thank you card for my mom's cousin, who gave me the corrugated cardstock I used to make the scalloped heart.  She had received a bunch of art and craft supplies from a friend who was downsizing, and she happily shared some items that were right up my alley.

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After die-cutting the scalloped heart, I scraped it with titanium white acrylic paint and sprinkled on chunky antique gold glitter.  Once it was dry, I sponged gathered twigs distress ink around the edges.  I used a piece of vintage ribbon to tie on the smaller red heart, adding a mini Tim Holtz bell.  The Slavic-language sheet music is from an old hymnal in my stash.

Have a beautiful day!

Buttermints cardstock by Bazzill; patterned paper and corrugated cardstock by DCWV; titanium white acrylic paint; vintage gold chunky glitter by Recollections (Michaels); spun sugar and gathered twigs distress ink; vintage sheet music and lace from my stash; tiny bell from Tim Holtz; pop-dots.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Healing Hearts Valentines

For the past year or so, I've been attending a monthly art therapy group for cancer patients, caregivers, family and friends.  I learned about the group from the hospital where my dad received his cancer treatments.  The group is facilitated by a local artist and we've done everything from mixed media drawings to needle felting to watercolor painting.  At the last minute, I decided to make Valentines for everyone this month.

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This special card was created for the facilitator.  To suit his style, I wanted to make the card more masculine and grungy than one might normally expect a Valentine to be.  I started with the large heart, which was die-cut from a piece of gray corrugated cardstock.  Using an old gift card, I roughly scraped on titanium white acrylic paint and while it was still wet, sprinkled on some chunky vintage gold glitter.  After the paint dried, I sponged vintage photo distress ink around the edges.  The red heart was also die-cut, scraped with white acrylic paint, and sponged with vintage photo distress ink.  After tying on a piece of jute twine, the red heart was adhered to the gray heart using pop-dots.  The vintage sheet music underneath the hearts received the same white paint and distress ink treatment.

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For the other members of the group, I made these simple die-cut hearts using a variety of patterned papers and cardstock in my stash.  The hearts are tied together with a piece of baker's twine, and I simply hand-wrote my sentiment on the back.  I was feeling cheeky and gave two of the guys the hot pink ones, which gave everyone a good laugh. (One guy's wife quickly swapped her red one for his pink one, however.)

Thanks for stopping by!

Solid cardstocks by Bazzill; corrugated cardstock by DCWV; patterned papers from various manufacturers; vintage sheet music from my stash; titanium white acrylic paint; rusty hinge and vintage photo distress ink; vintage gold chunky glitter by Recollections (Michaels); heart and scalloped heart Nestabilities by Spellbinders; baker's twine by We R Memory Keepers; jute twine from the hardware store; pop-dots.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Galentine's Day Valentines

I was invited to a Galentine's Day party, which (if you believe Wikipedia), is an unofficial holiday of "ladies celebrating ladies" that grew out of an episode of the sitcom Parks and Recreation.  I never watched that show so I had never heard of Galentine's Day until this month, when the concept seemed to be all over social media.

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The party invitation said we had the option of making Valentines to exchange and I decided that could be fun, especially since everyone invited to this particular Galentine's party was some kind of artist or maker.  Because I had to make a dozen Valentines, I kept my design simple.  My small (4.25 inches) square card featured a page from an old textbook topped with a heart die-cut from a piece of patterned paper and embossed with a floral pattern.  The sentiment was stamped on smooth cardstock and punched with a scalloped oval punch.

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Don't they all look so sweet together?

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Valentines I received in the exchange.

After enjoying some refreshments, sweet treats and lively conversation, the Valentine exchange took place around the hostess's dining room table.  It reminded me of elementary school, when we walked around to each classmate's desk to deposit a Valentine in their decorated shoe box (although for this party, most of us simply brought a large mailing envelope or gift bag).   It was so much fun to see how different all of the Valentines were, and to learn who made each one.  As you can see, the Valentines were as individual as the women who made them.  Oh!  I also got two pairs of funky ankle socks, which I forgot to put in the picture.  One pair features French bulldogs, the other elephants. 

Happy Galentine's, and Happy Valentine's Day, to you!  Thanks for stopping by.

Butter mints cardstock by Bazzill; patterned paper by DCWV (The Old World Stack); vintage book text from my stash; sentiment from Hampton Art; Ranger Archival black ink; heart die Nestabilities by Spellbinders; Anna Griffin Rosa embossing folder; Cuttlebug; scalloped oval punch from Stampin' Up; pop-dots.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Froggie Went a-Courtin' - Get Well Card

I just couldn't resist this adorable bicycle-riding frog when I saw him recently at my local Michaels store.  He's so dapper and is sure to bring cheer in any number of ways.  Today, he's gracing a get well card that I'm sending to someone having surgery.

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Froggie was stamped on whisper white cardstock and colored with Prismacolor pencils.  The patterned papers by Bazzill are in a color called intense kiwi.  Indeed!

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great day!

Purple and white cardstock by Bazzill; patterned papers by Bazzill; whisper white cardstock from Stampin' Up; frog image by Inkadinkado; Ranger Archival black ink; Prismacolor Premier pencils; odorless mineral spirits; oval and scalloped oval Nestabilities by Spellbinders; Martha Stewart border punch; corner rounder punch.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Blackout Bits #2

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Follow the daylight
Follow the moon
It's a new year, and I'm excited to keep building on some goals I set for myself last year as well as tackle some new ones. In the coming days, I will share more details and how those goals relate to what you will see here on the blog.  In the meantime, I wish you all the best for 2018 and as always, appreciate your stopping by!  Have a beautiful day.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Goldfinch - Tart Tin Ornament

Instead of exchanging altered envelopes this month, we had the option of making an ornament for our trading partners.  I decided to give it a go, and was absolutely thrilled to be paired with our intrepid leader.

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I started with a vintage tart tin that was already beautifully grungy--I didn't have to age it a bit.  I searched through my collection of vintage sheet music for a Christmas song and settled on Silent Night.  Because the paper was rather fragile, I adhered it to cardstock before using a round Spellbinders die to cut it.  I sponged antique linen and gathered twigs distress ink around the edges and then sprayed it with matte acrylic sealant.  I dabbed matte gel medium around the fluted edge of the tin and sprinkled on antique gold glitter.  Once it had dried, I gave it a coat of acrylic spray sealant, also. (You know how glitter likes to go everywhere!  This glitter is set in stone practically.)

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My partner likes birds, so I headed to my local craft store to find one for her ornament.  I chose this one, the Eastern Goldfinch, because it is the state bird of Iowa.  Its beautiful bright color really gives this ornament its "pop."  The red berries and pinecone were snipped off small decorative stems (called "picks" in the craft industry).  The burlap ribbon is from Really Reasonable Ribbon and was in my stash; it was part of a gift package from a friend.  I followed this Youtube video in order to make my bow, simply adjusting the measurements for the size of my project.  To be honest, I rarely measure stuff like this.  I simply cut my lengths, start to assemble them, and trim them until I am happy with the way it looks.  One tip I would give is to use wired ribbon (as I did here), so that your bow holds its shape.

The leaves behind the bird were cut out of old book text using a Spellbinders die.  (It, too, was adhered to cardstock first, due to how fragile the paper was.)  I tinted the leaves with distress inks and added some green glitter glue to the edges.  I felt the right side of the ornament still needed something, so I added the miniature bell to the sprig of leaves (a Tim Holtz product).  I didn't take a picture of the back, but I adhered a jewelry bail similar to these to use for my hanger.

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This is how the ornament looked on my tree.   I sure wanted to keep it for myself!  I'll just have to make another one and hope that it turns out as nice.

Have a beautiful day!  Thanks for stopping by.