Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am thankful for you

As I reflect on my blessings this year at Thanksgiving, you come to mind. Yes, YOU! The online stamping community brings so much pleasure and inspiration into my life.

I live in a small town, and other than my BFF stamping buddy, a.k.a. my little sister Janet, I rarely have the opportunity to share my joy in this craft with other people face-to-face.

I am so inspired by and fulfilled by this online community that I have started this new blog to be able to participate more fully. I am so grateful for those of you who take the time to view and comment on my creations;

Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for YOU!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Waltzingmouse Earth Angel - Fall Colors

I am having such fun with my new Waltzingmouse Earth Angel stamp set! Instead of the spring colors of the last set of cards (see previous post), this set uses the warm colors of Autumn. I love all the different wings that come with the set. Last time for my spring cards I used the leafy wings. This time I used the Wheat wings to stay with the harvest color scheme.

Note - sorry for the yellow color cast in this photo - I took it without flash so you could see the embossing. Card photos below show real color!

I heat embossed a music stamp on SU Really Rust cardstock and used that to paper piece the angel's dress; the rest of the angel is colored with Copics. The angels are set on a rectangle of SU More Mustard, stamped with a harlequin diamond stamp from Stamper's Anonymous. All have bows tied with the Bow-Easy. The background is SU Mellow Moss embossed with various Cuttlebug folders and edged with a Krylon leafing pen in Pale Gold. I also used my Versamark Champagne Dazzle pad to add definition to the embossed backgrounds and raised areas on the sentiment strips - I really like the subtle shimmer on the raised areas!

This one uses the Cuttlebug "Allegro" backround.

This one uses the Cuttlebug "Textile" backround.

This one uses the Cuttlebug "Birds and Swirls" backround.

This one uses the Cuttlebug "Rough Diamonds" backround.

This set comes with a huge variety of sentiments. These are made up of separate stamps. "Thank you for being a" + "Friend." The other sentiment is all separate words in the set: "You're" + "an" + "Angel". You can see all the different stamps in the Earth Angel set here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Waltzingmouse Stamps Earth Angels

Claire Brennan, author of Waltzingmouse Makes blog and designer of Waltzingmouse Stamps is one of my favorite artists! I have been longing to get some of her stamps but the word for my current income is "paycut" (stinkin' economy). You can imagine how THRILLED I was when a friend (you know who you are!) sent me this Earth Angel stamp set. Needless to say, I had to get it inky right away!

I immediately thought of paper piecing my little angel. She looks great with any small-scale pattern! There were four sentiments I wanted to use right away, but this set is jam-packed with versatile sentiments, including Flowergirl and Bridesmaid thank you's!! It comes with four different kind of wings in both large and small wing sizes, and you can also use the wings to create butterflies with the supplied butterfly body stamp! I went with the Leaf wings for this set of cards.

I used the little sprinkling seeds stamp to go with my "Sow" sentiment. The stamp set also comes with a seed pocket for her dress, but that didn't really work with my paper piecing. Background is embossed with the Cuttlebug Birds & Swirls folder and raised lines were scored with a Scor-Pal. I am not sure of my Stampin' Up! colors, but I think the cardstock is Celery or Mellow Moss and the tan paper is natural confetti.

This one uses an Inkadinkadoo floral flourish stamped in Versamark and clear embossed. A strip of the patterned paper was adhered along the bottom and a hemp twine was tied in a bow. I love the rustic touch added by the hemp with this sweet little angel!

This card uses the same floral flourish and some organza ribbon. I used the little seed stamp again to go with my "seed sowing" sentiment.

I hope you will be encouraged to go check out all of Claire's stamps! Next on my list are her fabulous Nestie-friendly stamp sets, designed to go with the label series of Spellbinders dies.

Thanks again to my buddy for being an "Earth Angel" and giving me this stamp set!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Cards by Kerri" offers wonderful Blog Candy!

Kerri is celebrating her one year "Blogiversary" and is offering this wonderful conglomeration of blog candy, valued at $99.75. You have to post this picture on your blog, become a follower, and enter the info in your comment on her blog prior to her birthday on December 20th. Read all about it!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sleep is a Symptom of Caffeine Deprivation...

Isn't that a great sentiment? I love coffee and collect coffee related stamps of any kind, and tend to be somewhat of an insomniac...hmmm. I wonder if those two are related? I am also hooked on the emboss-resist technique of collage stamping, which I first learned from Michelle Zindorf's blog!

  • I stamped the coffee cups (Stampington) first with black ink and colored them in with Prismacolor pencils. Then I colored them in completely with a Versamarker, being very careful to stay within the lines, and clear embossed the cups.
  • Next, I stamped the steam (Stampin' Up! Like it a Latte) and embossed with white powder. I offset slightly and stamped it again in pale gray, using a stamp positioner to get it in the right place.
  • Next I stamped "Sleeping Kizette" (Cherry Pie Art Stamps) and colored in with Prismacolors.
  • I masked her shoulder and stamped "Product of Columbia" (source unknown) and colored in a waxing crescent moon in the center.
  • Next the sentiment that inspired the whole card - "Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation" (Impression Obsession, discontinued I think).
  • Then I sponged brown ink on anything that still showed white cardstock and edged with a Krylon Leafing Pen in Copper. I love it that the Krylon Leafing Pens come in so many metallic shades!

Cherry Pie Art Stamps is the creation of Marina, a lovely Italian lady who now lives in the States. She started her rubber stamp company while she was still living in Genova, Italy, which is about 50 miles north of where I lived for several years in La Spezia (actually in the village of Tellaro, near Lerici). I had the pleasure of visiting her at her home, and seeing how she designed the stamps and pressed the rubber. She also showed me how she does her wonderful water colors. Please visit her site and check her gallery and the user galleries - totally inspiring! She also has a very active Yahoo group, which are always doing trades and swaps!

Many of her stamps are Marina's interpretaton of fine art - she has a wonderful line of Klimt stamps, and I suspect that "Sleeping Kizette" on my card today was inspired by a Tamara de Lempicka, a famous painter in the art deco period. She also has tons of Halloween related images and scenic stamps. One of Marina's trademarks is the fantastically fine shading she achieves on her stamps. The way she processes her images to get the fine shading is a trade secret - you will be amazed at the subtle shading she achieves in rubber!

Well, that wore me out. I think I need a cup of coffee!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

With Deepest Sympathy

A few years ago (seems like yesterday sometimes), I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer. I had taken family medical leave and my dad and I were her primary caregivers for several months. It was an amazing and harrowing and horrific and blessed time. Afterwards, the hole that had been ripped in our lives was SO HUGE, and it really changed my perspective on sympathy cards. So many of them featured flowers and butterflies and what meaning did that have for me in my grief? It was as though people outside my family were on some whole other planet.

This Judikins Angel Faces cube is my go-to stamp for sympathy cards. The angels remind me of the beautiful art you see in old cemetaries, like in New Orleans, Savannah, London. I love how they look sorrowful, as though they are sharing in your grief.

Each side of the cube was stamped with Tuxedo Black Memento ink on white cardstock, then colored in with Copics in the Warm Gray family (W0, W1, W3). I love how the warm gray makes the beautiful angels look like stone.

This card has a lot of dimension which you can't really see - all the panels are punched up on dimensionals. The black panel was punched with Martha Stewart's Arched Lattice border punch. The background has been stamped with a retired SU background stamp called "Antique" in Adirondack Lake Mist and and sponged with the same to mute it down. Edges were sponged with black. A wide black organza ribbon goes around the entire front face of the card with the ends hidden on the front under the panel. A bow was tied around the ribbon at the bottom. "With deepest sympathy" was stamped at the bottom in Alabaster Fluid Chalk ink.

Inside is a Wordsworth stamp that says "Christ has made of death a narrow, starlit strip between the companionship of yesterday and the reunions of tomorrow" on the right, and the stripe of the black ribbon on the left.

I still miss my Mom. Life goes on, but I look forward to the reunions of tomorrow - hopefully a long way away!! A fellow knitter told me that when you lose someone, it leaves a hole in your life. Like the hole in a sock, time gradually begins to darn the hole, passing more and more strands of yarn across the opening. Eventually, there are enough strands that the sock can once again serve its function, but it will always have a darn. It will be a useful sock again, but it will never be the same sock as it was before the hole was ripped. I find that very comforting!

Whew! I hope this post has not been too gloomy! This is actually one of my favorite cards!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lynn Stevens - 1 year Blogaversary of "Trash to Treasure Art"

Lynn Stevens, a mixed media artist I greatly admire, is having her one-year blogaversary and of course there are presents!

Her work has been featured recently in Somerset Studio. You can read about her excitement on being published here. Her work was also on the cover of a recent Stampers' Sampler, pictured below.
Her work ranges from shabby-chic mixed media paper art to hand-crafted jewelry. The blog candy goodies are pretty special and certainly one-of-kind! Be sure to check out her blog, Trash to Treasure Arts.

Happy one-year anniversary, Lynn!
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