A card for a sad occasion

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A woman I used to work with on our local psychiatric crisis and trauma response teams died in a car accident last weekend.  She was just a little older than me (late 40s, maybe).  It was so sudden it’s still hard to believe.  I continue to work closely with the crisis team, which is part of the agency I work with, and remember from having spent about a year with them what a close, tight-knit family they are.  I think you have to be to do that kind of work.

I made this card to send the team, and am also going to enter it in a couple challenges.  I think the clean and simple look works well for sympathy cards (and for crisis teams, for that matter), but it’s something that I’m not necessarily used to doing.  I’m finding that I really do like it, even though it can be a real challenge not to overdo it.  Here are the challenges where I’m submitting it to:

http://cleanandsimpleonsunday.blogspot.com/2013/08/challenge-14-tag-it.html – This was the one I was originally planning to contribute to, and their clean and simple motif fit perfectly.

http://stampotiquedesignerschallenge.blogspot.com/2013/07/sdc109-clean-simple.html – Clean and simple is not the typical style for this blog, but I’m glad they’re trying it.  The contributions to this challenge are amazing and it’s so cool to see people playing “outside of their comfort zones” a bit.  (Oops!  I missed this one by a few minutes.  Maybe next month.)

http://thedynamicduoschallenge.blogspot.com/2013/08/dynamic-duos-64-strawberry-slush-and.html – This challenge was a somewhat interesting choice for this card, as the colors this week are “Strawberry Slush and Daffodil Delight”.  They’re described as a “bright and cheerful color duo”.  I’ve found that when making (and receiving) sympathy cards, the use of color can really be a nice way to add some light and brightness into what can be a really dark time.

I used unmounted stamps on my new stamp-press, and liked that they could be laid out so precisely around the tag I had already secured to the card and then pressed on all at once.  However, I couldn’t figure out how to get the ink on the stamps once they were stuck on without getting ink all over the press, as well.  I tried to wipe it off, but I was worried about the ink on the stamps drying.  Some of the excess ink got on the card, so I covered up the smudges with a couple more little leaf stamps.  Any ideas on how to make this work better?

Mandala Monday and a Stampotique Challenge card

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Happy Mandala Monday!  It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve made a mandala, and a busy couple weeks at that, but here’s my contribution for today.  I opened up my flower press today and look at the beauties!  I made my design on a piece of scrapbook paper with a doily-like edge and used Instagram to keep the square shape.

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Here’s a close-up of the center.  There are three leaves forming a kind of a Celtic knot shape with two flowers (back to back) on top and a stamen placed, askew, in the center.  I can’t wait to find permanent pieces to uses some of these flowers and leaves in.  They really dried beautifully.

The Challenge

And then I had to make a card for a good friend of mine who is celebrating 17 years of sobriety this week.  It’s an amazing accomplishment that deserves way more than a card, but that’s what she’s getting from me.  So, I checked out some challenges I’ve found recently and picked this one:  the  Scrapotique July Challenge with the “Recycle It” theme http://stampotiquedesignerschallenge.blogspot.com/2013/07/sdc107-recycle-it.html

Here’s my contribution:

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Basically, this theme was created for me.  As you may have noticed, I hate throwing anything away if I think I can use it sometime in the future, especially as something other than what it was originally intended.  For the background, I used a couple of gel pens that I never could get to write very well, cracked them open, and dumped the ink on the card.  I used the pen liner to blow, stamp, scratch, roll, and otherwise manipulate the ink.  It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the ink has a little bit of glitter in it which gives it a beautiful sheen.  I’m so glad I didn’t throw them away!

Then, because it’s a stamping blog challenge, I stamped it up.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any stamps from the Stampotique Originals collection yet (and I mean “yet”), but they’ve opened up their rules to no longer require that you use their stamps yet.  Trust me, though, it will just be a matter of time before I get some.  Their shop is amazing:  http://www.stampotique.com/.  The coolest part is that they work with many different designers so there’s a really wide variety of styles from which to choose- from cute emo chicks to abstract graphic designs.  And the competition for this challenge is stiff.  There are some amazing cards and mixed media pieces from not only the design team but in the submissions.  You have to check it out.

I used a number stamp with black “Distress Ink” and then a yellow ink pad a few times on top.  Then I used the diamond pattern for a kind of a frame.  I stamped the number “seventeen” on a burlap sticker and then stamped the message on the inside.  The inside stamping is pretty messy, partially to match the messiness of the cover and partially because I haven’t gotten really good at lining up the wood block stamps I have yet.  I hope she likes it.