Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Gingers, Huggers and Snowflakes

Sounds like it could be a political commentary, doesn't it? It isn't. I'm in my happy place, making things, not ripping people apart over politics.

First off, allow me to introduce you to Hip Ginger, a stamp and die set from Simon Says Stamp
I fussy cut mine while sitting with friends who were also working on Christmas paper crafts. I stamped the gingerbread men and their accessories on colored cardstock and assembled them onto cardstock that will become gift tags. I added a bit of colored pen or pencil embellishment to a few and used a black gelly roll pen on the eyeglass frames. I decided they needed eyes rather blank circles, so I I colored irises with a black Copic multiliner and added white glints to their eyes with a gelly roll pen. A twisted red and white cord was added to complete these tags.  
Here is a close up of one of the gingerbread men. 

Next up is Woodland Critter Huggers, a die set from Lawn Fawn. I also used Winter Add-ons for the Critter Huggers, also by Lawn Fawn. The basic set gives you the animal body parts, the add-ons provided the hat, scarf, mittens and small items that the animals could hold. The die set illustration shows the raccoon, fox and deer. The pig and cow were ideas I used from Jess Crafts.
The dozen below are going to be a gift to a friend who I hope will like them for her family members. The critter arms can hold a small piece of wrapped candy, such as a Hershey Nugget, a York pattie, etc or a candy cane. They can also hold a gift card. 

Last but not least, here are my snowflakes. They are made from three layering dies from Birch Press Design. This set is called Glitz Snowflake Layer Set
I've only made them in these color combinations so far but plan to do more. I was asked if they were difficult to line up. Not at all. The secret is to begin with a good quality cardstock that has some body to it.  Less expensive, thin cardstock doesn't release well from the die. I used glue on these, lining up the center opening and then one series of three small circles on one arm of the snowflake. That lined everything else up well. I haven't decided on a card for them yet, but I think it will be a plain card with a simple greeting inside. One snowflake will fill up the front of a standard card and mail easily. I will attach a hanging chord, securing it to the inside of the card. Recipients can add these to packages or perhaps hang them in a window or on a tree. 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Floating Doxie Card

Before the card info, a short explanation on the end of the Be Thankful For challenge. I am not unthankful, I just can't write about specific prompts on specific days. My inner voice said not to start this but the bulk of me prodded me to try. Losing two days to a migraine headache put me behind on more than the challenge. Since I don't need artificially induced stress, I'm back to cards and crafts.

I made this card for a friend's birthday. Her dachshund is an important part of her world. She lives in Florida where things grow and bloom much longer than here in Michigan. Also, she has a pool. Combine those elements and this is the card that I made. 
People who stamp and make cards know about masking part of an image when combining two or more stamps. I was going to use that technique but the inner tube wasn't quite the right size for the doxie image. 

These are the stamp sets I used: Newton's Nook Dress Up Doxies; Newton's Nook Floaty Goat; and Simon Says Stamp's Showers and Flowers
 

Each of the stamp sets are clear. I didn't stamp the "hot dog" doxie, the inner tube, or the umbrella, I traced them. I held plain copy paper over the first image to a window and lightly traced the dog's head with ears extended. I roughly drew the inner tube and adjusted it for size before adding the umbrella. 

I could have drawn all of this but this was quicker and I liked each element as is. I didn't need to reinvent the wheel. I cleaned up the sketchiness of my image and outlined it with a Copic Multiliner. The angle of the dog's hind legs is the same as the goat's but I shortened them and didn't trace the hooves. The front legs might be a bit too short in comparison, but this is a card, not an anatomy illustration. 

The image is colored with Copics. A black gelly roll pen was used on the nose and a clear gelly roll pen was used on the inner tube. I cut the image out and glued it to paper from my stash that I felt looked like pool water. Here is the image before fussy cutting, and the pool paper behind it. 
I had a cute image going, but it wasn't quite enough for the front of the card. Tim Holtz and Sizzix to the rescue! I used Funky Flowers #1 die set to make the foilage that frames the image. 
I like how this turned out. If you are interested in doing something like this, here is a MAJOR tip for you. If you have a scanner, copy your completed image just before coloring. When I use this again, I will adjust the color so that it prints in a light gray tone. I'd rather darken the lines myself with a marker after coloring a printed image. Besides not needing to do the work behind this composition again, I can enlarge it if I want. I don't have "fancy" programs to do that, I put the image in Word and enlarge it before printing. My Brother printer, scanner and copier combo handles Copic friendly paper well. 


Sunday, November 4, 2018

November Challenge Day 4

Day 4 of the #bethankfulfor challenge is Home.

When we bought our house, we didn't think it was going to be our forever home, but it didn't take long to realize this is where we belonged. We considered moving once, but the reasons to stay outweighed the reasons to go and we added on instead. 

If memories took up physical space, this house would not be large enough to hold them all. I am thankful for the love and laughter that has permeated this house and made it Home. 

Painted in 2008, shown at a student art exhibit

Saturday, November 3, 2018

November Challenge Day 3


Thankful Challenge, Day 3: Senses

I am thankful for eyes that see the beauty of my family, friends, and nature.

I am thankful for ears that hear what they say, sometimes even when they don't actually say anything.

I am thankful for speech to tell them that I love them, and occasionally warn them of what I see as dangerous. Speech has a way of changing in a quiet woman as she ages. 😉

I am thankful for a nose that sometimes takes me down memory lane. Baby powder. Arpege (a rare thing to smell now). Chocolate chip cookies. Bonfires. Lumber (not in that order). Brut. ❤️

I am thankful for the feel of a pen in my hand, a keyboard beneath my fingers, glue or paint as I peel it off my skin, and yarn as it slides between fingers to needles. None of these compare to feel of a loved one's kiss, hug or hand being held.


Regardless of your preferred political party in the USA right now, I think everyone can agree that people are tense and tired of everything. This Thankful challenge is a good reminder to calmly look around us, find the positive, and work on recognizing that in everything and everyone.

Friday, November 2, 2018

November Challenge Day 2


Day 2, Food

I am thankful that my family, from birth through today, has never gone without nourishment because of poverty, lack of local places to shop, or have been denied service because of bigotry. It is easy to take for granted the things we have always known, but I know my experience is not worldwide or even nationwide.

May all of our tables be bountiful.