Many Thanks

I received a new Paper Pumpkin kit and immediately got to work (https://mypaperpumpkin.com/en).  The base cards were kraft paper brown with a neat bullseye kind of pattern on the front.  There was some white baker’s twine (I’ve been wanting to play with that stuff), some little index card-shaped die cuts and some V-shaped die cuts, some wooden-colored buttons, and a couple celebratory stamps.  The ink pad was midnight blue, a color I’ve really wanted.  There were also some little foam double-sided adhesives to give cards some dimension, something I’ve really felt I needed to do more of lately.

Of course, I didn’t follow the directions for the suggested sample card (I’m not so good at following directions), but here’s what I did make.  The theme for all of them was “Thank you”, as I needed to make a thank you card for my parents and wanted to make a few so I could choose the best for them.  They watched our dog while were out of town celebrating our anniversary (which was an absolutely amazing weekend).  Plus, you can never have too many thank you cards.  Here’s what I came up with, along with some challenges I’m entering them into:

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This one is for the Make My Monday challenge:  Swirls and Pearls (http://mimchallegeblog.blogspot.com/2013/09/swirls-and-pearls.html).  It’s pretty clean and simple, a design I’m really starting to like.  I used scrapbook paper for the background on a plain off-white card (for the “swirls).  Then, I stamped the “thanks” on the mini-index card with the navy ink, added the baker’s twine (another little swirl), and embellished it just a bit with some scrapbooking pearls.

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This one was was for Shopping Our Stash’s “Oldest Flower” challenge: http://shoppingourstash.blogspot.ca/2013/09/sos-119-oldest-flower.html.  The background was the card from the Paper Pumpkin kit.  I added the stamped index card and then pulled these flowers out of a drawer.  I actually got them right after we got engaged (so they’re almost 2 years old, now) and had planned to use them for something at the wedding.  I didn’t have a specific idea for them, but I knew purple was going to be one of the wedding colors and I was excited to start shopping.  Of course, we ended up not using them (I think I actually put them away somewhere and forgot all about them).  I glued them down just in the centers, so they still have some dimension, and used the adhesives on the card.  They have just a touch of glitter, which is hard to see in the photo.

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This one was made for Creative Corner Challenge’s “The Leaves are Falling” theme:  http://creativecornerchallenges.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-leaves-are-falling.html.  I actually tried a new technique on this one, based on one of the Artists in Blogland Design Team’s ideas:  http://artistsinblogland.blogspot.com/2013/09/techniques-on-tuesday-with-jessica-sporn.html  She used actual leaves as stamps, which I loved (see, especially, the woman she did with colorful leaf stamps as hair).  She used watercolors for a much more soft, pretty look and I used stamp pads (I like hers a lot better, so I’m going to definitely try that sometime soon).  I’m also linking up to their Show and Tell with my take on their technique (http://artistsinblogland.blogspot.com/search/label/show%20and%20tell%20saturday)  The button is from Paper Pumpkin.  I’m saving the other 4 for something special (I really like the wood-look).

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And this is the one I decided to give to my parents!  I like how clean and simple it is and I really like the geometry from the Paper Pumpkin elements (actually, everything except the actual letter stamps are from the Paper Pumpkin kit).  My dad’s an architect, so I think he’ll like it.  I actually didn’t have a challenge in mind when I made this one (maybe that’s why I like it the best- it’s all me).

I’m also entering the Hero Arts “Game, Set, Match” challenge (http://ablognamedhero.blogspot.com/2013/09/challenge-32-game-set-match.html).  They suggested making 3 (or more) identical, or really similar, cards at once (which I do all the time, especially when making holiday cards).  I didn’t use any Hero Arts stamps in these, but in going through my collection afterwards, I realized that I do have quite a few.  I’ll definitely use one for their next month’s challenge!

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So, now I have a few thank you cards for next time I need one.  Which one is your favorite?

(p.s. While our dog was staying with my parents, my brother took some amazing pictures of him.  Here they are on his blog:  http://lorrinbaker.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/bear/.  Thanks, Lorrin!)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

 

The prompt over at the Weekly Photo Challenge is “Inside” (http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/photo-challenge-inside/)  It reminded me of a photo I took last weekend of my boy in the bounce house at the Glendi Festival.  As I was going through my photos, I found an even better one from a few weeks ago at a VBC we just happened upon as we were on our way somewhere else.

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He absolutely LOVES bounce houses and could spend all day in them.  We even rented one for his birthday last year.  I think it’s because he’s somewhat accident prone so he’s learned to be really cautious.  The bounce house is the one place he can be totally crazy and carefree and not get hurt (usually).

Found poetry

I posted a couple days ago about getting a Gelli plate, which I’m totally thrilled with.   I used my art journal to try it out and made a couple really neat backgrounds, which I used tonight.  Here’s my post about making them:  https://craftymadre.com/2013/09/11/gelli-madness/.  This month, Stampotique Designer’s Challenge is challenging people to “Try a new technique” (http://stampotiquedesignerschallenge.blogspot.com/2013/09/sdc116-try-new-technique.html), so I did.

Not only was the gelli plate background new to me, but I also tried my hand at “Found Poetry“.   I first heard about it on this blog, http://slowdownsunday.org/2013/08/06/color-this-quote/, but have seen it a few times since and been really intrigued.  She kindly included this really great guide on how to write them, as well:  https://secure.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Books/Sample/18488chap1.pdf .  It’s basically taking words from an existing piece (a book, a newspaper article, a magazine cover, the bathroom wall) and rearranging them to make your own poem.

My first attempt at found poetry was on my new prayer journal, an idea I got from one of my favorite bloggers:  Molly Lolly Loo (http://mollylollyloo.blogspot.com/search/label/Art%20Journal).  I’ve been reading Jan Richardson’s “In the Sanctuary of Women” (http://www.sanctuaryofwomen.com/) in preparation for a retreat I’m attending that’s being led by her at the end of the month.  It’s such an inspiring book that I wanted a dedicated place to keep my thoughts as I’m reading.  So, I took a plain old Composition Book (thanks to the $1 back-to-school sale at Staples) and decoupaged some pictures from National Geographic on it as my “canvas”.  I used words from the catalogue of the retreat center to create “poems” on the front and back.  The whole process was really amazing.  Here’s what I ended up with:

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Well, I loved the process so much that I tried it again in my art journal on top of my gelli prints, this time with cut out words from “The Wisdom of the Hindus”.  (I created an altered book with it about a year ago but had several pages left over that I cut out to give myself more room for embellishments.)  Here are both pages in tonight’s gelli plate spread:

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I decorated them both with black Sharpie and White Pitt Pen after, and I really like them.  The sun was actually ANOTHER new technique.  I used my new brayer (gotta love 40% off at Michaels) to put yellow acrylic craft paint over a piece of scrapbook paper to kind of “alter” it.

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I cut out the sun and glued in on the middle of the page, pasting the cut-out word “grace” in the middle.  So simple yet so satisfying.

Last 2 anniversary cards (I think)

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This one was made for another couple challenges.  The first one is Shopping our Stash’s “Favorite Stampy Technique”.  (http://shoppingourstash.blogspot.ca/2013/09/sos-118-favorite-stampy-technique.html).  I used a fun Hero stamp I got from one of my favorite bloggers on the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge design team, who was thinning her stash and selling some of her old stamps for about 1/2 price.  (http://cheironbrandon.typepad.com/my_weblog/stamps-stuff-for-sale.html).  My “Favorite Stampy Technique” is using Bingo ink daubers to ink the stamps.  I tried it when I first started experimenting with stamping because I only had a couple ink pads.  My wife has a ton of Bingo daubers and she actually introduced me to Bingo (which I have to admit I rather like).  I just randomly inked different sections of the stamp with different colors and plopped the card on top.  (I stamp “upside down” when using these, because they tend to be a little drippy.  I’ve found that when you stamp down on the card some of the ink that drips into the crevices drips down onto the paper.  If you stamp “up” by putting the paper on the stamp, this can be avoided.)  I love how bright the colors are!

The second challenge comes in with the quote stamp.  It’s from Stampsmith (some of my favorite stamps are from them).  Their challenge is to create something that’s “Inspired by a Song” (http://thestampsmithchallenge.blogspot.com/2013/09/tsc46inspired-by-song-using-at-least.html).  This was a perfect theme to make a card for my wife for, who’s laying next to me singing as I type.  This quote made me think of the song of “What A Wonderful World”, which I wrote on the inside of the card and which we played at our wedding (the “Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World” mash up by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_DKWlrA24k).  It’s one of my favorite songs.)  The flowers seem to have a kind of Hawaiian theme.

This card is perfect for our anniversary because I really did marry my best friend.

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And this is the last card I’m making (I think).  I used another Stampsmith stamp (aren’t they great?  So detailed!) which I colored with colored pencils.  I used my hand-made zig zag stamp on the sides and a cute phrase on the bottom with Sharpie.

A room with a view

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I’ll know I’ve “made it” when I have a window in my office. Alas, I’m not quite there yet. So, in the spirit of making lemons into lemonade, I made myself a window a couple years ago.

I found an old window on the side of the road. It was old (I already said that), distressed, dirty, and the panes were intact: perfect.  I cleaned it up, sanded the wood lightly, slapped enough paint on to make it still distressed but in a different color, and picked out a “view”.

The photo I chose was one my dad took on a trip to Australia. He’s an amazing photographer and I love the colors in this photo; the contrasting ocean, cliff, sky; the calmness of it all.  Here’s a better view of the photo itself (taken from a tricky angle with my office lights off and just the camera flash).
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He had it printed and mounted on foam core (I’m not sure what it cost but I’m guessing it wasn’t cheap). That’s probably the key to it staying in the frame so well and staying so vibrant even a couple years later.  I used little nails to secure it into the frame.  I also put a couple ATCs I made around the edges, mostly because I couldn’t think of anywhere else to put them. (The one with the ark is an image from a Heifer Fund card which I cut up and “embellished”.)
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It’s not the same as a real window to the outdoors, but the view’s beautiful and the weather’s always perfect.

And another…

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I made this card to remember our Jill and Jill.  In case you haven’t been following along, I’m making a bunch of cards for our first wedding anniversary, coming up this weekend, because it’s the “paper” anniversary (and because I couldn’t think of anything else to get).

We had a beach themed party (NOT to be confused with a Hawaiian theme, which my wife was dead set against.  Ironically, when I went to get the postage for our “Save the Date”, the only ones they had were “Aloha” stamps.  She thought I was conspiring against her.)  We made a cornhole with bare feet on it (posted about here: https://craftymadre.com/2013/09/08/have-cornhole-will-travel/) and strung flip-flop lights from the bar with little beach glass/twine/seashell candle holders from Christmas Tree Shops on the tables.  (Oh, by the way, I found out from someone that a “cornhole” is called that because they DID used to throw bags of corn in the hole, but then the corn got mushy or eaten by critters or something so they switched to synthetic pellets).

I made this card to enter into this week’s Drunken Stampers challenge “button” theme: http://drunkenstampers.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/thing-buttons-drunken-stampers-challenge-140/.  I grabbed a metal button from my stash and used some of my fabulous glitter glue to make it into a disco ball.  Here it is halfway covered:

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I used black cardstock for the background (pasted onto the white card), a piece of shiny silver wired ribbon with stars, and some 3D  stickers.  I used more glitter glue to put beams of glory shooting out from the disco ball and dots all over (I even put dots on the back of the card in order to wipe off my fingers and the glue tip).

I love the dimension in this card and it’s almost as fun as the party was.  We had an awesome DJ, Lori B from Martini Productions (http://martiniproductions.wordpress.com/), and I totally just found out that she has a blog as I was looking up a link to post for her!  So many of our friends made raffle baskets and I made a couple crafts to raffle, as well.

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I hope the card brings back as many great memories for my wife as it’s brought back for me making it and writing about it.

Another card for my love

So… here’s what I’ve decided.  The first anniversary is paper, right?  And my wife has absolutely everything she could possibly need.  I’ve already made a couple cards, because I love making cards so much, so I’m just going to make as many cards as I can between now and Friday (that’s when we agreed to exchange gifts).  Here, then, is my next one:

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I made this for the Make My Monday Challenge: Create a Scene (http://mimchallegeblog.blogspot.com/2013/09/create-scene.html).  It’s kind of a representation of our wedding, which was in our back yard with flowers all around.  I used lavender chalk on the background, which I kind of liked the subtlety of, and washi tape on the bottom.  The purple flower stamp is one of the erasers I got from Staples and the grass is another favorite stamp.  I cut the silhouette out of black construction paper.  I put a couple silver stickers on for good measure (the colors of the wedding were purple and grey/silver).

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Now, I’m going to have to find nice things to write on all these cards.  It shouldn’t be hard, though.  🙂