Birthday Card – Simon Says Stamp Anything Goes

My nephew’s birthday is this Saturday.  Pretty crazy to think that he was just a teeny, new baby at my wedding, and now he’s turning 16.  How time flies!

Needing a birthday card, and needing it to be masculine, I thought the best use was to go clean and simple.  Something I almost always really like.  I’m linking this up to the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Anything Goes challenge.  Ah, the best type of challenges 🙂

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I was able to use my MISTI, which allows one to create a repeated pattern like this with so much ease!  I’d never have tried anything like this prior to getting MISTI, and I really like that I was able to stamp the light grey over and over, then restamp the one I wanted to focus on in a different color.

Supplies:  Simon Says Stamp (birthday stamp, fog ink, die), Neenah 110# Index, Memento Teal Zeal dye ink

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MFT Card Color Challenge

I’ve been trying really hard to play along with challenges regularly to stretch myself.  I saw this color challenge at My Favorite Things Color Challenge and at first I thought they were colors that I’d never pair together.

Maybe because I don’t use blue much.  But I had this sweet little stamp from My Favorite Things that has been sitting in my stash for a couple months now, just waiting to be put to use.  I knew I wanted to use blue for her dress, and make her a little blonde girl, so I thought the challenge would be the perfect time to pull out this darling stamp.

My favorite method for coloring is to watercolor.  It’s the only thing I am successful with, so I pulled out the distress markers and inks that would match and set to work.  Of course, I didn’t have any orange paper this shade, so I pulled out a spectrum noir marker and made it myself.  That is how I use my alcohol markers 🙂
MFTColorChallengeSupplies:  My Favorite Things stamp, Simon Says Stamp rectangle dies, Misc (vellum & rhinestones), Spectrum Noir CR7 marker, kraft cardstock

Birthday Card

The challenge for Simon Says Stamp Monday was to use one stamp in many ways.  Sounds easy and challenging at the same time.  Challenging mostly because I’m not a techinque motivated crafter.  But I thought it would be a good challenge for myself, and I had fun creating the card.

I used a Simon Says Stamp stamp set and pigment inks.  I typically reach for dye inks because pigment inks take longer to dry, and I’m very clumsy, destined to smudge the ink, even after heat setting it.  But I wanted to make it look like my balloons were translucent and have some depth, so I opted for pigment ink.

The larger balloons are stamped straight with the pigment ink.  The smaller balloons, I stamped the first impression straight with ink.  Then I reinked the same stamp, stamped it off onto a pinstripe background stamp from My Favorite Things and restamped the same image.  It gave the appearance of stripes on the balloon.  I had planned to do a third image with clear embossing powder, so I heat set the images.  However, I decided that I didn’t want to add more balloons because I really like simplicity and minimalism in images.  So I restamped the small balloons with versamark and used clear embossing powder.
SSS Monday 323Supplies:  Simon Says Stamp (stamp, clear embossing powder & stitched rectangle die), Colorbox pigment inks, Papertrey Ink printed vellum, Hero Arts charcoal ink, misc rhinestones

My Favorite Things Sketch 221

I adore white space in design.  I enjoy empty space.  Really, in every facet of life.  I enjoy having empty space in my cabinets so I have room to place new things, or room to reorganize without having to empty said cabinets.  White space just makes me happy.  In design, white space makes me happy.  I mean white, white space.  A perfectly empty place to rest the eyes.

But the other part of me likes my abundant supply of 6×6 paper.  Trying to mesh the two attractions together can stretch my creativity sometimes.  I’m pretty stubborn and set in my ways.

For this sketch for My Favorite Things Sketch Challenge #221, I felt I should challenge myself to use patterned paper.  I think my favorite part is the foiled vellum.  I modified the sketch a bit as it didn’t feel balanced with the butterfly above the sentiment.

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Supplies:  My Favorite Things (sentiment & sketch, circle die to crop corner), Papertrey Ink (butterfly dies), Simon Says Stamp (circle die, sequin), DCWV (vellum paper), Hero Arts (embossing powder)

PTI Make It Monday #206

Ever have those moments when you just want to kick yourself?  Surely, I can’t be the only one.
I stamped this card today for the Papertrey Ink Monday challenge.  After trying and abandoning several ideas yesterday, I tried again today and was beyond delighted about the results.  It turned out better than I had expected.  Then I thought, “hey, why not finish it off with some glossy accents.”

Have I ever told of my ineptitude regarding glossy accents?  I’m troubled.  Seriously, troubled.

The bottle BLEW UP on me, spilling a 2″ blob of liquid on my adorable card.  Sigh.  In my attempt to salvage the time spent, I decided the best thing to do would be to brush it around and give the entire card a glossy coating.

My fingers are still coated in it and trying to stick to the keyboard as I type this.

IMG_4237Patterns stamped with Simon Says Stamp Sending Happy Thoughts, Papertrey Ink Communique Curve, Winnie & Walter Big & Bold, Papertrey Ink Ocean Tides ink, Aqua Mist ink & Hawaiian Shores ink, glossy accents, Papertrey Ink heart die

Why I Didn’t Blog For a Year

I have some cards that I’ve made to share, but I’m having technical difficulties, so I’m going to write out what has been on my heart for a while today.  This blog post has been in my head and heart for well over a year, even when I did have a previous blog.

Why Did I Not Blog For a Year…

I have for a long time had an aversion to reading many blogs.  There are many reasons, all of which I don’t want to repeat myself, so I not only didn’t read but a few select blogs, I also didn’t write a blog.

Without being in a particular order, here is my list of why I avoid most blogs, and why I took a blog hiatus myself.

Most blogs don’t go through an editorial process

This is probably the most trivial aspect of it.  I have never once claimed to be a master of the English language, either written or spoken.  I know that I will make grammatical errors.  I’m a human, I’m imperfect.  The way people respond to mistakes rarely sits well with me.  I was an office manager in a newspaper and print shop.  Even having an editorial staff, spelling errors still made their way to print.  In the print shop, proofs would often be seen by 5 sets of eyes and still go to press with a spelling error.  If mistakes can get through that many sets of eyes, how much more likely are they when the person writing is also the person proofreading.  When I’m proofreading my own work, I see what I intended to write, not always what is actually there.  Additionally, I have so much stuff shoved into my brain, I don’t always have room to remember things like the oxford comma.  I make mistakes!  Other writers make mistakes!  It’s part of being human.  So, be cautious in attacking other’s intelligence in this regard, and if you do, you’d best make sure you never make a mistake yourself!

In addition to this, sometimes ideas are just plain bad ideas.  When I worked at the newspaper, many potential story ideas were rejected by the editor before even given the chance to be written.  Not all ideas are worthy of development.  Thomas Edison and the light bulb, you bet.  27 ways to use toilet paper on a scrapbook page?  Yeah, not really necessary.  Now, any trip through the dollar store will reveal that the editorial process obviously does not catch all bad ideas, but it certainly reduces them.

The editorial process also helps to refine ideas.  It provides accountability to the author regarding the content of the post.  An editor working with integrity would not allow intentional lies to pass through.  The editor can send a piece back saying it needs more clarification or development of an idea.  This accountability does not have to necessarily come via an editor, but I find it to be lacking in the world of many bloggers.  Many blogs are owner operated and there is no accountability to what is being said.  Yes, some will make retractions, but I’ve seen much more commonly bloggers become belligerent when challenged rather than allowing themselves to learn something.  This continues into my next point.

Many bloggers are self-appointed-experts

Please remember that these are statements in general, and yes, there will be exceptions, as few statements except for all  humans will die, and all humans are sinful are completely all inclusive.

It’s been my observation that many bloggers begin blogging about one thing in which they do know a lot.  That is the basis of their blog, which is fine.  However, many in a desire to continue to come up with new content expand their subject matter.  They become the self appointed experts on whatever they write about.  It’s rare that I see a blogger say “I don’t know about this.”  Well, that’s not completely true, I have seen it done in the context of “I don’t know much about doing this, but here is what I would do anyway.”  See, they admit they aren’t the expert, but yet they also say they are the expert anyway.  That’s the rub.  Pride becomes the motivator in acting as if they know when they really may not.

Blogging is time consuming, so it is often monetized

Been there, done that.  I know blogging is very time consuming.  I certainly understand the desire to monetize a blog either by advertising, writing a book or hocking stuff.  In order to justify the amount of time spent blogging, it’s easy to feel that we must be compensated for it.  However, it’s very hard to sell yourself or a product and not sell yourself and your message in the process.

For that reason, I do not want to monetize.  Which means sometimes, I won’t blog.  If I don’t have time, I won’t blog.  God and my family always come first.

Additionally, once monetized, in order to continue to maintain and grow your readership, one must continue to push the boundaries.  Continue to come up with edgy and interesting content.

I’m not like that.  If that’s what you want, you probably won’t enjoy reading my blog.  I’m consistent and predictable.  Call it a fault.  LOL.  I also am by the book, both in Scripture and in life.  I don’t need to reinterpret the Bible to fit to my ideas.  Rather, I must conform my ideas to fit to Scripture.

Too big for one’s britches

This one, I’m speaking mostly of myself.  I know myself and I know the pride that I can act in if I don’t continually repent and discipline myself.  It’s so easy to fall into the trap of desiring to be liked, and often by many.  I know I am just another sinful human being.  Nothing about me is inherently good or fabulous.  I don’t need to have myself glorified, for one thing, I most certainly don’t deserve it, and secondly, my pride doesn’t need to be inflamed.  I don’t need to be thinking I’m better than I am.  Please don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying this in a tone that could be considered low-self esteem by our post-modern society.  Not at all.  My intention is to be realistic in my perception of myself.  A sinful human, fallen from grace, saved by Christ, restored to glorify Him.  Yes, I have gifts.  But I am not defined by those gifts.  Nor am I defined by my failures.  I am defined by the blood of Christ.  Praise God!!

My blog and my craft can be my idol

This is one that I speak both of myself and of others.  Crafting used to be my idol.  My blog used to be my idol.  For years I had believed that being a wife and mom wasn’t enough.  I had to “do more” or “be more” to be of value to this world.  I rejected my first and most important calling, loving and caring for my family.  I desperately wanted to find fulfillment in creating and accumulating.  I desperately wanted to find approval in recognition of my work.  I served these things rather than Jesus.  My devotion was to finding man’s approval rather than God’s.

This, more than anything, was the reason I stopped blogging.  I am being incredibly intentional now to not fall back into this sin.  This is a point where I’d ask for accountability from my readers (especially those few people in real life who I’m blessed to call family and friends 😉 ).

Blogging to justify sin

Now, this one I’m sure may rile some feathers.  But this is a primary reason I don’t read most blogs.  Many blogs, especially those written by Christian women, seem to be written in an attempt to justify their sin.   This again goes back to what I said about manipulating the Bible to fit my ideas.  I must lay my ideas at the cross and change my ideas to fit the ideas of the word of God.  Rather than justify my sin, I must repent of my sin.  Many bloggers try to do the reverse, find a dance, recreate reality, anything in order to not repent.  And dangerously, encourage others along their path.

When challenged, many bloggers don’t take it well.   I’ve been banned from many Christian blogs for using Scripture to question their conclusions.  Disagreement can be a moment of learning, or it can be a moment of pride.  I confess, it’s much easier to be prideful.  I know it is my first choice.  But I know that the wise thing to do would be to humble and learn.  I know that I also tend to respond in emotion.  It is for this reason that I rarely read and comment, because I am not good at responding in a logical way, not motivated primarily by emotion.  However, that being said, challenging ideas is a very good thing.   I should not attack the person, but when an idea doesn’t line up with Scripture, I should challenge the idea.

What you see isn’t always real

For some reason, we easily accept that the pictures we see in magazines aren’t real.  We know the clothes have been tailored to fit the models.  They have make up applied by professional make up artists.  They are airbrushed and photoshopped ridiculously.  For some reason, we can remind ourselves of that.  Yet, we think that what bloggers present is reality.  We must remember that bloggers are censoring their life.  They only reveal information that is pertinent to their cause.  Few people are truly real.  Even when they present their faults (like I didn’t feed my family today and told them to eat cereal for dinner so I could craft), they are only presenting the faults they will allow you to see, whether it to be to present themselves positively, or gain sympathy.

In conlusion, I don’t think this is a conclusive list.  This list is all I have time for at the moment. And it’s already many more words than I intended.  If you see me acting in any of these fashions, please address me about it.  My desire is that I have a teachable spirit, and that I would check my pride at the door and repent.

By Faith Alone

Through Grace Alone

In Christ Alone

Hello Friend

Lawn Fawn has the most adorable designs.  In the past, I’ve not used much lawn fawn because I have a hard time mixing cutesty with clean and simple.  And, most of their stamped images are designed to be colored.  I stink at coloring.  LOL.  But I found this little set on clearance sale, and this fox, so stinking cute, I couldn’t resist.

So I stamped this darling on watercolor paper and used my distress inks to watercolor it.  I prefer watercolor because it seems to be the most forgiving.  I do not have a still hand, and while I’m trying to train myself to do coloring, it’s not coming naturally to me.

All in all, I adore this card.  I know who I made it for, but, I’m having a hard time parting with it.  Maybe I’ll send her a picture of the card and keep the card myself.  No, I won’t do that.  But I’m tempted!

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Up From The Grave HE Arose card

I decided to try some multistep masking and inking for a background on this card. I apologize for the photo and brief post, my camera memory card isn’t working. I had to use my phone and post from it as well.

I wanted very simple to complete the card, but multiple layers created interest while still being very simple.

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Easter Cards

Being as how I’m not a very social person, I don’t tend to get together with friends unless I have a reason.  Granted, the reason can be a variety of things, but there has to be a reason.  Just to get together for coffee is a rarity for me.  Like once a year or so.

But, a few weeks ago I found this stamp set from Papertrey Ink.  Typically, before I buy a stamp set, I have to think through if there are several uses for which I can apply it.  Holiday stamps rarely make the cut, since each holiday is only once a year.  This Papertrey set though, had me willing to break my own quasi-rule.  I still felt as if I had to justify the purchase though, so I messaged a friend and said “hey, you want to make some Easter cards?”  Hey, any excuse to buy a set of stamps is a good excuse for me.

This afternoon I was playing with the stamps, trying to come up with a few ideas for a card party.  Here is what I came up with.  (I apologize for the wonky formatting, I’m still learning WordPress).

First up is yellow roses – this has to be the most beautiful stamp set ever created.  Or, it is at least a contender for the title.  Altenew made this gorgeous stamp set, but I’m not sure I’d try it without the MISTI.

Second is a card I was trying to create using a very clean and simple design.

Lastly, a watercolor splotchy card that I actually like!  While I greatly enjoy coloring images with watercolor (it’s my preferred method for coloring), I have a hard time creating cards with free form watercolor.  It isn’t a controlled or predictable medium, and I’m a very controlled crafter.  I’ll share my philosophy on that later 😉 LOL.  I used the new Tim Holtz Cracked Pistachio ink.  It’s gorgeous!
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Supplies:

Yellow Roses Card:  Papertrey Ink Easter Alleluias, Bazzill Grapefruit Bliss cardstock, Neenah 110# Exact Index, Tsukineko Dandelion, Hero Arts Butter Bar, Green Hills, Soft Cantaloupe inks, Papertrey Ink Ripe Avocado ink, Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles dies, My Mind’s Eye pearls, Ranger Liquid Platinum Embossing Powder

Stripe Card:  Papertrey Ink Easter Alleluias, Bazzill cardstock,  Tsukineko Dandelion, Hero Arts Cup O Joe ink, Ranger Liquid Platinum Embossing Powder, Neenah 110# Exact Index, American Crafts Crate Paper Maggie Holmes Styleboard paper

Watercolor Card:Papertrey Ink Easter Alleluias, Ranger Liquid Platinum Embossing Powder, Recollections Blue Ombre cardstock, Watercolor paper, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Cracked Pistachio, Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle Dies

Simon Says, Things That Fly Challenge

Sometimes you begin a project with grand idea, but the process yields a process that is nothing like the grand plan.  Enter this card.  The challenge for Wednesday at Simon Says Stamp was to use something that flies.  Additionally, but not necessary, use American Crafts products.  Well, I had this gorgeous American Crafts butterfly paper that I wanted to use.  I struggled every which way I tried to make this card.  I really wanted to use the Simon Says “praying for you” die cuts.  But it just wasn’t coming together.

I even walked away from it uncompleted last night and went to bed.  I don’t do that, I normally force my way through a project seeing completion.  This morning, I came back and tried again.  I took apart most of what I had done and was liking the way it was coming together.  Until I stitched on the vellum.  Too late to go back though!  LOL  So I just stuck it all together and thought it falls under my new crafting motto.

The recipient will love it, and won’t know that it’s not what I was trying to accomplish.

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My camera and I aren’t getting along right now.  It’s working just fine, I think I’ve just lost all patience with playing with settings and such to get the photo I want.  This card was really hard to photograph!  And apparently I messed up the settings because it’s really grainy when I make it bigger.  My apologies – I will work on improving this.  I have a love hate relationship because I know I can do much better, but I just don’t want to take the time.  It’s not worth spending 15 minutes on the photography and editing to me.  Sigh.  Thanks for hanging with  me anyway.

Supplies:  Crate Paper Notes, Papertrey Ink butterfly dies, Simon Says Stamp Praying for You die, DCWV vellum, MME necessities embellishments, Recollections cardstock Blue Ombre