Scrapbooking as much as possible, but sometimes getting distracted by birthdays and life!

Peace, Joy, & Love

Today, I’m here to share another Christmas card design. I’m making cards for Bring Smiles to Seniors, Inc. to try to spread the love and joy of Christmas with those who might not be able to celebrate with their families this year. If you are a cardmaker, please consider sharing some smiles this year or donating financially to help this heart-warming cause. Here are some guidelines from their site related to COVID-19 needs:

“Due to senior isolation in Senior Communities we are experiencing unprecedented demand for our greeting cards. If you would like to help us continue delivering smiles, you will find a donate button link at the top of this page. Just $15 helps us get a package of cards to a senior community. If you are a card maker and are willing to include messages inside of your cards, that would be greatly appreciated since we have lost many of our school and civic group partners who normally decorate cards for us.  We still welcome cards that are blank inside to use with our individual decorators.

I created the front of today’s card using the Wednesday Sketch Challenge  from My Favorite Things Stamps’ sketch #510 and also inspired by the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Simon Says: Make It Sparkle. All products are from MFT unless otherwise noted. Products are linked if they are available at either store.

I was inspired by the wide strip that goes the length of the sketch but wanted to have it run horizontally, so to start I masked off an area on my Berrylicious cardstock and did some ink blending using my Picket Fence Studios Life Changing Blender Brushes and Gumdrop Green at the center, Blue Yonder to the outside of that, and finishing off with After Midnight at the far edges.

I just reused my blue painter’s tape (which helps to prevent tearing of the cardstock when you remove it – see the middle card base on the left side where it tore.)

I let the ink dry and used my Anti-Static Pouch to prep the surface. Next I used the Peace, Love, and Joy Stencil applying Altenew Embossing Paste with my Stencil Pal to two of the lines of words of the stencil (which I had masked off.) I sprinkled the embossing paste with Snowflake Tinsel which gave the words a nice sparkle once it was melted with my heat tool.

I finished this card off with a sentiment from the Merry Messages Stamp set, a strip of Freckled Fawn washi tape, some shimmery taffeta ribbon, and a few Pinkfresh Jewels to add even more sparkle!

I hope you are inspired to create some cards using this wonderful sketch, your papercrafting goodies, and this challenge to let it sparkle!

Have a wonderful day!

Ruth

Christmas Time is Here!

It’s a been a long, strange year so far. I normally am looking to create Christmas cards for the Caring Hearts Card Drive at this time of year but the fabulous organizer is taking a year off. She recommended Bring Smiles to Seniors, Inc., so that is where I will be sending the cards I’m making this year. Please consider donating if you are interested in helping make the holidays a bit more cheerful for seniors! They accept cards and monetary donations.

I like to use challenges to focus my creating and the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge this past week was “Dry Embossing”, so I decided to focus on that with my first couple of cards.

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I’ve used the Queen and Co. Holiday Wishes kit from my stash for the majority of the elements in the cards I’m sharing today, including the patterned papers, dies for the ornament, and shaker card foam and acetate. You might be seeing quite a few cards and tags from me using this kit this year so that I can use up the elements.

I love this vellum, which has a pearlescent sheen to it – I thought it would look nice dry embossed with my Darice Snowflake Swirl embossing folder. I thought it would look nice with the vellum looking more opaque, so I did back it with white cardstock to give a more solid color so the sentiment would read nicely.

I’ve used Concord & 9th dies from Take a Bough (the original) and Trim the Tree, MFT Blueprints Die-Namics (retired) for the card layers and the sentiment die was from a Jillibean Soup stamp and die set from my stash. On this card I used ribbon from Celebrate It, Target dollar section snowflake sequins as well as Queen & Co pink Pearlies.  I used PinkFresh Studio CRYSTALS MIX Essentials to embellish the snowflake centers which I felt went nicely with the color scheme of this card and added a bit more shimmer.

Well, that wraps up this card! Onto the next one:

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Supplies for this card are similar to the one above. The sentiment if from the Concord & 9th Trim the Tree Die set, and I used Target dollar section silver cording and Spielgelmom Scraps sequins from my stash.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I’ve gotta go and create some more joy!

Ruth

ETA: I’m entering this into the Jingle Belles I’m Dreaming of a PINK Christmas challenge where they are donating $2 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation for every design entered into their challenge in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month! I hope you’ll consider joining in, too!

Such a beautiful day!

I have been loving the weather we’ve been having the past few days. I’m not a lover of a lot of heat and humidity, so temps below 80 degrees Fahrenheit and lows in the 50’s are greatly appreciated! I also love dedicating time during the day to making things for people who are special to me (and sometimes for charities that work to make people I don’t know feel special), but today I’m sharing a card I made for someone who I used to work with. She was the kind of person who made me feel special and appreciated and respected so I wanted to make her a card to let her know I was thinking about her.

I am a slow cardmaker, so this card was created over the last week. It all started with this sketch from My Favorite Things:

It sparked an idea because I knew I had some border dies from My Favorite Things that I could use the create the curved lines at the bottom of the card and I wanted to do some ink blending so I got to work.

Here’s the finished card so you can see what I am talking about it while I describe its creation:

BeautifulDayCardOnly

(All products are from My Favorite Things unless I specify another brand name.)

I used Neenah Classic Crest 80 LB Smooth Solar White for the background ink blending. I started with cutting the curves from Stitched Basic Edges 2 Die-namics (retired) and then ink blending them using Gumdrop Green and Elf Green (retired) inks with my Picket Fence Studios Life Changing Blender Brushes. I was OK with some variation in color because I thought it would add some texture and interest.

The sky was done with the Sun Ray Mix-ables Stencil from My Favorite Things (retired – but similar to Sunrise Radiating Rays Stencil) I blended Pineapple ink onto the background and used the stencil to add the Orange Zest layer which I let fade out as I worked away from the sun at the center. With so much going on in the background, I could keep the card fairly flat, which makes for easy mailing.

Next up came the flowers. I used Versafine Onyx Black Ink with stamps and Die-namics from the Beautiful Day set (retired) on Arches 140lb hot pressed watercolor paper. The flowers were painted using my Zig Kuretake Gansai Tambi 36 Color Set and my Silver Black Velvet Brush Size 4 Round which was great in the tight spots. I tried to keep it a bit loose and I wanted to have the colors stay generally bright.

I created enough flowers and mushrooms to add some to the envelope.

BeautifulDayCard

The sentiment is also from Beautiful Day, stamped with Onyx Black Ink on vellum and die cut with the Starburst Sentiment Strips Die-namics (retired).

I hope at the very least that this card makes my friend feel appreciated and hopefully it’ll also bring a smile to her face!

I’ll be entering this into Simon Says June Instagram Challenge which is Ink Blending, as well as My Favorite Things Wednesday Sketch Challenge #493.

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Thanks so much for sticking with me. I like to share what I’ve used just in case someone reads this and wants to make something, too. I hope you have many beautiful days ahead!

Ruth

 

 

Hi! This is my 5th post about Altenew Academy’s Artists Watercolor 101 for Paper Crafters class. Today I am sharing the day 4 homework project and admittedly I am the least satisfied with this project. The goal was to use watercolor wet on wet for the background and to use light glazing to color in images on top of that. I was trying for a bright and happy feel by using warm colors for my wet on wet background as well as for my glazing. I think in the process I created a background that didn’t really impact the flowers that were painted on it because the background was too light. This definitely could use some more playing and experimenting. Here’s what I created:

Lesson4_card_fullLesson4_card_detail

I tried to use mostly yellow in the background because I know from color theory that using green on top of red will really dull the green and I wanted things to remain bright. I think I maybe should have gone for a more intense yellow in the background and it might have had more of an impact.

The stamp I used is called Exotic Garden and at times I had to use my #2 round brush to get into some of the really tight areas since my Silver #8 round was much too big for them. The stamped image was heat embossed with gold embossing powder. (A smaller {possibly #4 round} Silver brush is definitely on my wishlist. I do have a #4 brush as well as a #6, but they don’t come to a point the way my Silver brushes do so I really feel like upgrading might be a good plan.)

The sentiment is a Sizzix die from Stampin’ Up cut from the gold foil Altenew Specialty Paper Sampler and the twine and sequins were from my stash.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope to continue to work on the next homework which is no-line watercoloring, but I definitely need some kind of deadline and less time commitments for me to do so… I will share my progress on Instagram.

I’ll be linking this up for the Altenew Educators “For the Love of Flowers” Blog Hop and Linky Party + Giveaway. I love that all my watercolor homework has involved flowers because they are so very lovely and perfect for so many wonderful people who I know and love. Anyway I hope you have a chance to join in!

Ruth

 

Hi! I know that it seems like it’s been a while, but basically I was working on the painting portion of homework for 3 days worth of the Altenew Academy Artists’ Watercolor 101 for Paper Crafters class since last I posted. Today I finally assembled two of the cards for the class and I am still working on the watercolor portion of Day 5’s class, which is really taking a while but is hopefully well worth the effort. I also am trying to get as much done now while my daughter is still at school since she’ll be home for Spring Break at the end of this week and I have all my supplies set up in her room so I don’t have to put everything away each time I work. It’s such a time-saver.

Let’s get to the project!

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I used Shades of Purple, Cherry Blossom, and Fiery Sunset for my Ombre background. I really love Fiery Sunset as a color and could not resist using it in my Ombre. I stamped and used white embossing powder on the sentiments from the Mega Greetings 3 stamp set and the images were stamped in Lavender Fields and Forest Glades ink and are from the Watercolor Roses stamp set. All of the above supplies are from Altenew and I’ve linked to them for you.

I once again couldn’t resist using the Nuvo Dream Drops in Cloud 9 for a little bit of shimmer and dimension.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you are having a lovely day!

Next up: watercolor wet on wet background with stamping and glazing on top

Ruth

P.S. I forgot to mention there is a linky party going on for Altenew to celebrate their Certified Educator program. It’s called For the Love of Flowers and that is definitely something I can get on board with!!! Check it out (I’ve linked it a the name of the challenge.)

I’m back. I’ve never enjoyed doing homework as much as I am for this Artists Watercolor 101 for Paper Crafters class. It’s so much fun and pretty quick and easy.

The focus was on using watercolor paint to color and shade a stamped and embossed image. I chose the Altenew Build-A-Flower: Magnolia stamp and die set. This set allows for so many options from how to color the flowers (you can used layered stamped images to fill in the flowers, stem, and leaves or you can color using the outline only.) It also includes a ton of options for sentiments. I bought this set for its versatility and I am very happy I did!

My image is heat embossed with white embossing powder to create little pockets for the paint to sit in. I felt like the white was a good choice for this image since I love the soft colors of magnolias over the more intense ones.

Here is the completed stamped image along with the color swatches I hurriedly added after I was done painting:

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I did add some white over the top of the green because I love how magnolia buds are fuzzy and I wanted to try and create that look.

I will enjoy practicing doing shading more in the future, but I am generally pretty happy with how this turned out!

Here are some images of my finished card:

Lesson2_card_fullLesson2_card_detail

For the background I cut a piece of 110 lb white cardstock with the Altenew Ornate Cover Die. I’ve added the sentiment (from the same stamp set as the flower) in Cotton Candy ink from My Favorite Things and the accents were created with Nuvo Dream Drops in Cloud 9.

Now to figure out who to give this to. I think I probably could have made a dozen of these and maybe had enough to send to all the wonderful people who this applies to!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope all is well with you and that you are feeling inspired yourself!

Next lesson is an ombre background.

Ruth

I have to say it’s hard to complain about anything on a day when the sun is shining brightly in Illinois in late February and I get to make lots of rainbows with bright happy colors!

As I mentioned in my post yesterday I have received my Altenew Artists’ Watercolor pan set so today I played with them. And as I mentioned above they really brought me so much joy! Such a great selection of colors and I can’t wait to paint more with them.

First I created a chart looking at transparency/opacity of the colors.

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(see what I mean about bright and happy colors?)

Our instructor, Emily, shared a way to make a simple chart using the pan wraps and lines drawn with a black waterproof marker (I used a Bic Mark-it because they are acid free and I don’t mind the odor.) It’s really convenient that the pan wraps are sticky so they just adhere pretty easily to the chart! I also made a swatch chart with the names of the colors in same rainbow order that you find them in the palette that will fit inside the palette at the same time as this transparency/opacity chart to save time. All the pans have the names of the colors printed on them which is really awesome, but the chart helps when you just want to pick the colors you are looking for.

Here is a closeup of some of the biggest revelations when it came to transparency:

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Pure White was to be expected, but Summer Afternoon was a bit of a surprise

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Also surprising was Fall Harvest

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And Lapis Lazuli had less transparency than expected along with Shades of Purple to a small degree.

Next I created a chart for a limited number of colors for glazing. I used Red Cosmos, Warm and Cozy, Summer Afternoon, Rain Forest, Sea Shore, Lapis Lazuli, and Shades of Purple, which were the same colors Emily used in class.

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I struggled a little with keeping the colors on the first layer from mixing as I added the color on top. It is possible that the first layer wasn’t dry enough or that I had too much water in the my paint for the colors. In retrospect I might do this chart again with more space between each line of color. That might help things as well.

Next up: Making a card with a stamped and watercolored flower!

Thanks so much for stopping in! Have a fabulous rest of your day and enjoy leap day tomorrow!

Ruth

I love taking online classes and when Altenew announced a new watercolor class I decided it was definitely one that I wanted to take. I’ve taken a few Altenew classes and have really loved what I’ve learned, but they are also very inexpensive and are generally pretty easy to at least watch all the lessons when they go live. My challenge comes with actually applying what I’m learning by doing the ‘homework’. I always feel inspired and thankfully there is time after the lessons go live to complete the homework but I don’t always commit to doing it. This time even though I don’t have the Altenew brand paints the instructor used I decided to just go ahead and start in on some of the lessons. So these are part of my ‘homework’ from day 1 of Artists’ Watercolor 101.

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Emily Midgett was showing different techniques to use with watercolors and how different the paints can look just with different techniques. I’ve used Daniel Smith watercolors for these exercises. Quinacridone Pink is on all of the panels except the lower right. I’ve added Permanent Yellow Deep and Carbazole Violet in the lower left and Carbazole Violet in the lower middle. I used Quinacridone Coral, Transparent Pyrrol Orange, and Permanent Yellow Deep in the lower right. I am least excited by how the wet on wet section came out – definitely need to work on my technique there, but I’m in love with the Ombre panel. I think I might be doing a whole lot with this color combination in the future!

Next I was thinking ahead to the next lesson and decided to work on finding a green that I thought would go nicely with the Quinacridone Pink for leaves of the flower I was planning on painting as well as what color would layer up nicely on top for shadow. This is what my experiment looks like.

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I started with Green Apatite Genuine on the two left swatches and Sap Green on the two right ones. I then added Indanthrone Blue to both greens and then Carbazone Violet to both greens. As I expected, the far right swatch turned out very brown because Sap Green has a lot of yellow so color theory told me that adding violet would make brown. I am undecided as to whether or not I’ll go with the Sap Green with Carbazone Violet or not.

***During the time between when I started the swatching and when I was writing this post my Altenew Artist Watercolors arrived, so I should be able to use the same colors that Emily used in class going forward. I’m glad I tried this, though, since I own these Daniel Smith colors and I am sure I can use this information in the future!

Thanks for stopping in! I’m looking forward to getting to know my new Artist Watercolors through the coming exercises and projects!

Ruth

Playing around with words here like I’ve been playing around with my fun crafty goodies! I’m back to the Ellen Hutson’s 12 Tags of Christmas Challenge and I’m going back to Day 1 when Rudy the red-beaked reindeer (Dean Martin – what a hip cat) was the focus of the challenge.

Therese Calvird had a fabulous design (and I happened to have a deer stamp and die set from Concord & 9th that I was dying to use!) Here is Therese’s:

Concord & 9th’s Furry Friends Stamps and die set has all sorts of super fun images and one of the images I loved was the deer (which has a set of Christmas lights to go between the antlers and that just made me smile.) I decided to make it look like Rudolf with a glowing nose, no string lights needed!

I started my design with watercoloring the deer head and antlers (using my Gansai Tambi watercolors + Altenew pigment ink.) I also tried to create a foggy night background, without using grey, in watercolor. It’s a sky at least, right?

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The tag frame is the Decorative Tag 1 from Pretty Pink Posh. I thought it went nicely with my Rudolf head and background. I thought the white felt would be a fun touch for the frame – I’m slightly addicted to felt I must admit!

I used a clear red dot that I had left-over from a Paper Pumpkin kit for Rudolf’s nose. (My sister is a demonstrator, so if you are looking for some Stampin’ Up goodies or a Paper Pumpkin subscription and need a demonstrator I’m happy to share her!;-)

So, the next time I create 15 Rudolf heads (I am giving sets of 10 tags as Christmas gifts and I wanted a few extras so I could pick my favorites to use) I will use watercolor for the nose glow instead of dye ink painted on. I had hoped that it was going to soften as it dried, but I forgot that the ink doesn’t dry back the way that watercolors do so it’s a bit intense for my liking, but it’s done and that’s a good thing!

Thanks so much for stopping by! This was a super fun tag to make and I hope you get to do some fun making for Christmas!

Ruth

 

 

I love Christmas music and the fact that Ellen Hutson chose to use Christmas music as inspiration for her 12 Tags of Christmas 2019 Challenge this year made my heart very happy! Also, I really felt like stars definitely came out that night, so the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Stars fit perfectly for me!

My favorite tag for this hymn at Ellen Hutson was this clean and simple design by Ardyth:

The contrast of the light landscape with the darkened sky touched with splatters of shine definitely played into how I interpreted this hymn.

My tag came out like this:

IMG_20191214_103700618 I used a couple of elements from Heidi Swapp’s Oh What Fun collection (wood veneer and the Peace tag) that I felt were perfect for this song (star geotag + peace and star = yes!) I used some Finetec metallic watercolors for the splatters and a Navy Twinklette marker for the To and From. The tag die was from Fun Stamper’s Journey. I used a hole die from the Waffle Flower Stanta Tag die set.

Thanks so much to Ardyth for her beautiful inspiration tag and to Simon Says Stamp for featuring stars for their Monday challenge!

I hope you have a clear and bright Christmas!

Thanks for stopping by!

Ruth

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