A Sympathy Card

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One of my new supervisees’ grandfather is really ill and not expected to make it.  I made this card, thinking of her, but knowing that if he did make come-back I could keep it for another such occasion.  The theme at the Twist of Faith Cards challenge this month is “Harvest”, and that just seemed to fit really well sympathy card (http://twistoffaithcards.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/challenge-60-harvest.html).

I found the photo of cross-shaped grave markers in the tundra in an old National Geographic (my go-to magazine for beautiful images).  Even though the colors certainly don’t scream “harvest”, I was just really drawn to the picture.  I searched for “harvest” references in my Bible app, knowing that there would be one that was related to the end of life, and found the quote from Matthew 13:39 “The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.”  Even though the reference was to a much larger ending (a foreshadowing of Revelations, it seems), I think it works really well with the passing of an individual, especially one who has lived a long and rich life.

I wanted to get some color in the card, because my coworker’s grandfather has been ill for quite some time (both with dementia and with physical ailments), and in cases like this death can be somewhat of a blessing- both for the person who’s finally passing after years of suffering and her/his loved ones who have had to bare witness to that suffering.  Just like there is some beauty in autumn, with the colors of the leaves and the bounty of the harvest before the cold barrenness of the winter, there can be beauty in passing, surrounded by family and friends, after such suffering.

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It’s been a while… and a few cards

As promised, my new job has been somewhat overwhelming.  But the launch of our department is tomorrow, so hopefully all the hard work will pay off (or it will be a complete disaster, I’ll get fired, and I’ll have all the time in the world to craft and blog).  Today was a holiday for us, Columbus Day.  It’s actually one of my least favorite holidays, because of the tragedy of his story that we end up glorifying and celebrating, but who can knock a day off?  I ended up working about 3/4 of the day to get ready for tomorrow, but I spent the rest of my time off making some cards.  I needed that.

Here’s what I came up with, and the challenges that inspired them:

ImageI made this for Sketch N Scrap’s  http://sketchnscrap.blogspot.com/2013/10/card-sketch-11-special-prize-alert.html.  This has been one of my favorites, as having the sketch gives me a nice backbone to work off of.  I made it for my new church birthday card ministry.  I’ve sent cards out to about 4-5 people each month for the past couple months and it’s been really fun.  Now I have to go to my list and find some October birthdays that haven’t already passed.

The colors in this card came from The Paper Players’ color challenge this week (http://thepaperplayers.blogspot.com/2013/10/pp167-jaydees-color-challenge.html).  Jaydee chose Midnight Muse, Pool Party, and Whisper White.  I found perfect great paper for the background in a huge book of origami paper my wonderful wife bought me last weekend in NYC (I go to NY and one of the only things I got was actually from the Barnes & Noble that we hung out in to kill some time before our dinner reservation).  It had that perfect Pool Party color, so I popped it on the background (also, the sketch had a really neat polka-dotted background, so I thought this worked well).  I used a midnight blue stamp pad for the small letters on the stamps, the Sharpie-drawn partial frame, and the ribbon.  Funny thing about the frame is that was actually the side of my sewing tin that I traced.  It was the perfect shape for the sketch:

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The Whisper White is in the background of the background paper and the white Pitt Pen I used for the first letters of “Happy Birth Day”.  I love those little tags but they’re ordinarily so expensive that I’d never spring for them.  They were one of my finds at Resources for Rhode Island Educators (https://craftymadre.com/2013/08/25/heaven-im-in-heaven/).

I’m also entering this card in the Simon Says Stamp Blog Wednesday Challenge  (http://www.simonsaysstampblog.com/wednesdaychallenge/).  The challenge was to use Rubber or Clear Stamps.  I used my favorite set of clear cling stamps from Hero Arts for the small letters.

The second card I made this afternoon was inspired by the Paper Craft Star photo challenge  (http://papercraftstar.blogspot.ca/2013/10/challenge-165.html).  They post a photo to use a photo for inspiration, and the photos are always really neat.  I’ve checked out their challenges before, but never been able to think of anything that seemed to work.  This week’s photo was a great autumn massage storefront scene, complete with pumpkins and foliage.  People seem to be making a lot of Halloween cards, but, to tell you the truth, I’ve never really given a Halloween card.  I didn’t think of it as a “card” holiday.  So, instead, I made a birthday card using the colors.

ImageThe background was a page out of the aforementioned origami paper book.  The paper’s all square (for obvious reasons), so I used the piece I cut off to add a little accent (folding it to give it some dimension before taping it on and then adding some ribbon on top of that).  The folded paper is one of my favorite ways to add the ribbon look for gift wrapping (and might just be my Quick Tip Tuesday tip for tomorrow, if I can get around to posting about it.)  I used some awesome Tim Holtz cardboard letters I’ve had tucked away for just such a look and glued them on.  I really love this color scheme, and the challenge was the perfect way to show it off.  I’m also entering it in Tammy Scrapin’ Corner’s Fall Colors themed challenge:  http://www.tammyscrapincorner.com/2013/10/challenge-84-at-tammy-scrappin-corner.html and House of Gilli’s Anything Goes/Fall theme challenge:  http://houseofgilli.blogspot.com/2013/09/challenge-54-anything-goesfall.html.

Finally, I made a nautical themed card for the Simon Says Stamp Blog’s MONDAY CHALLENGE (I love that they have 2 challenges a week on two different blogs named for the days they’re posted- it’s always easy to know when they next one will be up).  (http://www.simonsaysstampblog.com/mondaychallenge/challenge-nautical/)

ImageThis was my least favorite card of the bunch, and I wasn’t really sure what to do with it.  The theme was “Nautical”, and it’s not something I’ve done much with.  But, I happened to have this ship stamp and the “Bon Voyage” in my collection, so I figured “What the heck?”.  I used a 3rd piece of origami paper (trust me, there were over 800 pages, so I have plenty left to actually use for origami).  I used my midnight blue stamp pad to color the edges a little and then stamped it up.  I finished it off with a square knot at the top.  I didn’t really make this for anyone in particular, but it can go in my card box for the next time I need a going away card in a rush.

The wedding scrapbook continues

The network was down at work today so I came home, cleaned up my crafty table, and did another couple pages in our wedding scrapbook.  That was so much more fun than working!!  (Unfortunately, I’ll have twice as much work to do once the computers are up and running.)  I used sketches for challenges for both of them.  Challenges really inspire me and give me good inspiration that I can then build upon to make my own.  Here they are (with little iPhone app stickers to cover up the kids faces):

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This was inspired by the Scraps of Darkness and Scraps of Elegance.  It’s called “The Black Album Sketch Challenge” (http://scrapsofdarkness.com/Forum/index.php?topic=3531.0).  We had a lot of our photos printed in sepia, which I love and which seemed perfect for this challenge.  These photos are of my wife and myself with our boy (my “Best Man”) and our two flowergirls (on the left) and my wife and her “Maid of Honor” (on the right).  We went to a park near our house to take the photos and they turned out beautifully!  I like all the rounded edges and flourishes in the sketch, that I tried to get with some stickers.  The border was done with a white Pen-Touch marker (I’ve really been loving using white marker on dark backgrounds).

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This is for one of Sketch ~n~ Scrap’s September challenges (http://sketchnscrap.blogspot.com/2013/09/card-sketch-10.html).   It’s designed for a card, but it’s fun and easy to use the sketch in a scrapbook layout, too.  The sketch featured the three thick lines and a big circle around/through them.  I thought this paper worked perfectly because it incorporated the circle and the time element was at the forefront of the beginning of our wedding day (we were in a MAD RUSH to get everything set up)!  We had centerpieces made of different sized mason jars and vases with assorted purple ribbons tied around them (kind of a shabby chic look).  The florist made the bouquets a little more full than I had hoped (I was hoping for more of the sparse, loose look), and they actually ended being top heavy.  That, paired with the wind that day, had them all falling over as soon as we put them out.  With a couple hours before everyone was about to show up, we were desperately trying to add pebbles (from our rock garden) to weigh them down.  When that didn’t work, we just pulled the flowers out of all the taller vases and laid them down in the centers of the tables.

Here’s the completed page with my journalling added (the sketch didn’t really have a space that I could neatly fit journaling in to because it was made for a card):

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Both background papers are from Die Cuts With a View’s (http://www.dcwv.com/) “Heirloom Stack” (I love their paper.  I have that one and “Tattered Time”, with a cool Steampunk feel)

 

 

Oh Baby, part II

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Here’s my second baby card.  For this one, I used title of one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books:  “Oh, the Places You’ll Go“.  (My absolute favorite is “The Lorax“.)  People give the book for graduation presents all the time, but it’s a perfect theme for a new baby, too (I think).  The other bonus- Dr. Seuss shares a birthday with my lovely wife AND is from my very city.  Yes, I’ve been on THE Mulberry Street (it’s no where near as exciting as he portrays it to be, unfortunately).

I used a map I picked up from a brochure stand on our recent weekend in Vermont for the “O” and Sharpie for the rest of the letters and the road and water.  I cut the pictures out of an old Highlights magazine (I’ll be so sad when my boy is no longer young enough for me to justify a subscription).  The “grass” around the bike is non other than my famous glitter spray.  Oh, and the background is my homemade spray ink (see here for details: https://craftymadre.com/2013/07/18/a-few-more-icads-on-the-home-stretch).  On the inside I just wrote “Welcome to the world.”  My diaper cake is almost done and I’ve gotten started on the diaper bouquet for the parents of today’s kiddo’s card.  Stay tuned!!

I’m entering this card into a few challenges:  http://chocolatecoffeecards.blogspot.com/2013/09/challenge-48-anything-goes.html – How could you not love this blog?  Coffee, chocolate, and cards (3 of my favorite things)!

http://bunnyzoescrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/september-challenge-something-blue.html – A “something blue” challenge, this month (good thing the baby’s a boy).

http://cutiepiechallenge.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/challenge-53-cute-one-for-boys_22.html – The Cutie Pie Challenge is not something that a lot of my cards would necessarily work for, but I definitely think this one is “cute”- and it’s for a boy.

http://cardmakinmamas.blogspot.com/2013/09/cmm74-for-kids-sponsored-by-bugaboo.html – The Card Makin’ Mamas “For the Kids” challenge is another fun one.  I’m loving all these kid cards at the “back to school” time of year.

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http://cisforchallenge.blogspot.com/2013/09/challenge-6.html– The theme is “make is sparkle”.  I’m hoping my glitter glue will count for that.  The prize is 6 meters of white lace.  (I’m not quite sure how long a meter is, but I really like lace!)

And, just for fun, here’s a photo from the Dr. Seuss Memorial sculpture garden near our house.  (Yes, that would be Horton.)

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UPDATE:  Shoot!  I just realized that the car’s on the wrong side of the road.  Maybe we should move to England before the baby’s born.

Oh Baby!

My wife’s work spouse’s spouse had a baby last weekend.  Baby Isaias was born pretty prematurely and is in the NICU, but he’s a trooper and is getting better by the day.  We’re all praying for him.  Of course, they haven’t wanted to have the baby shower until he was doing better, but I can’t wait to give them this card I made and the diaper cake that I’m almost done with.

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I used a page from this great old middle school music primer I got at a tag sale at the beginning of the summer and, since it was for a baby, crayons to add some color.  I don’t know why it’s so fun to use crayons- I guess it brings out the kid in people.  I stuck on a few lines from the song “Beside Thy Cradle Here I Stand” (having no idea how perfect it would end up being for his first week).  Then, I glued on scraps of the embroidery floss I used to tie the diapers for the diaper cake (which, when finished, will have its whole own post).  (I know that disposable diapers are pretty controversial in some circles, but even if they end up going with cloth it’s always handy to have some as backups.)

I’m entering it into the Totally Papercrafts challenge: Happy Birthday Baby! (http://totallypapercrafts.blogspot.com/2013/09/ch185-200913-lisa-happy-birthday-baby.html)  The Design Team’s samples in this challenge are so cute and creative, but, then, there’s something about baby cards that are just automatically adorable.

I’m also entering Card Making Mamas (cause that’s kind of what I am, too!) (http://cardmakinmamas.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/cmm74-for-kids-sponsored-by-bugaboo.html)  Their theme is “For the Kids”, so I guess a baby card counts.

Finally, just for the heck of it, I’m linking to the “Anything Goes” challenge on Jo’s Scrapshack.  (http://www.jwscrapshack.blogspot.com/2013/09/ffc-18-anything-goes.html)  There are a couple cute Halloween cards from the Design Team and the host that I really like.  I’ve never made/given a Halloween card, but it such a fun idea.

Another of my wife’s work friends is having a baby soon, too.  I’m making a diaper bouquet (and a card).  I better get cracking on those.  (Stay tuned!)

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!)

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.