Saturday, September 30, 2017

Hang in There

Just a quick inspirational card share today, using the Hang In There sloth from Lawn Fawn, along with some retired Lawn Fawn papers.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Hello Cupcake

For today's card, I've used C.C. Designs' Pinke Cupcakes & Balloons stamp, along with the brushstroke Hello die from Ellen Hutson LLC. I wanted to create a bright and cheery card, so I used light colors and paired a neutral taupe with a yellow patterned paper. I chose a brown for the die-cut, as it seemed less harsh than black.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Charming Friend

Today's card features Birdie Brown's Magical Dragons stamp set. This set includes a bunch of adorable dragons, as well as a little knight and a little princess. I was drawn to this set both because it features a magical theme, and because I just adore the expressions and the poses of the dragons.

I loved this set so much that I've made a whole bunch of cards to write about! So, be on the lookout for more.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, September 25, 2017

Bits and Pieces: Warm my Heart

I just love paper. Some card-makers live for stamps and ink, some love their dies. I'm a patterned paper kind of girl. Not only do I love the look, the smell and the feel of paper, but I find it so inspiring. I take great joy in choosing the perfect paper to go with my stamp (or the perfect stamp to go with my paper!).

There's so much variety in patterned paper, too. You have the standard basics like polkadots and stripes, and then you have complex shapes or artistic patterns. There's watercolor effects, paint splatters and a bundle of textures and techniques that would take me hours to create. That's my favorite thing about patterned paper, by the way. I can have all the trendy looks, but without a ton of experimentation and inconsistent results. Don't get me wrong, I do like trying out new things, but when I want just one card to look a specific way, a patterned paper will do.

Today's card uses the lovely paper from Pinkfresh Studio's Indigo Hills. I've paired it with an MFT cat + accessory stamp (retired) and a simple sentiment from Perk Up.
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Chatty Sunday: Making Mistakes

Recently, I was watching a card-making video where the crafter made a mistake and showed how she fixed it. I thought that was a pretty cool thing to add into the video, because I know I've made the same mistakes plenty of times and it would be nice to know how to fix them. And scanning through the video comments, I'm certainly not the only one. There were a whole bunch of appreciative comments that thanked the crafter for showing that card-making isn't always perfect. Mistakes happen!

But when you stop and think about it, mistakes are very rarely shared. If you take a stroll through someone's blog or their YouTube channel, you will only see the best of their work - the cream of the crop. You don't see the not-really-sure-about-this creations, the outright flops and the cards that went straight in the garbage bin. Seeing this carefully-edited collection makes the viewer feel like card-making should be effortless and mistake-free - when in reality, it's anything but.

And I do get it. Mistakes are disarming. They bump us down in confidence, leave us vulnerable and they come with all kinds of what-if's attached. What if someone sees that ugly card and thinks I suck at cardmaking? What if someone sees that ugly card and thinks I'm only sharing it to fish for compliments? What if that company was thinking of inviting me to their DT, but that ugly card made them reconsider? What if someone uses that ugly card as an example of what not to do with card-making? Those what-if's are probably always there in the back of our minds. But when you share a creation you're proud of, you can tell yourself "what if..., but at least I'm happy with it".

There's nothing wrong with only sharing what makes you happy. Nothing wrong with curating your many artistic messes and showing off your successes. But there's also plenty of room and ways to show off your mistakes without sacrificing your authority and the way you're perceived.

You can teach just as much - maybe more! - by showing what doesn't work. And there's benefits in it for you. Critically thinking about your art is incredibly valuable. Not only does it help you avoid making the same mistake on your next card, but it can boost your confidence - because you've got the experience and the knowledge to tell why the card didn't work.

Yes, it will be scary. There will be the "What if someone made a card just like this and they feel offended that I find it a failure?", along with many other what-ifs. But no one's gained an audience of viewers and blog followers by constantly walking on eggshells and avoiding any feedback. Even the worst-case scenario is an opportunity to connect with someone and help them.

It takes a degree of bravery and a lot of confidence to share our mistakes, but I hope artists and crafters are encouraged to continue doing so. I'd love to see an entire trend of videos and blog posts that embrace mistakes and talk openly about how we learn from them.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Bits & Pieces: Witchy Ghostly Thanks

It's time for another Bits & Pieces creation, where I create a card using my box of pre-stamped and colored materials to make a fun and quick card.

For today's card, I used Lawn Fawn's Spooktacular stamp set  to make a little witch ghost. I added the ghost and a simple thanks sentiment to a scalloped rectangle and adhered everything to a piece of geometric patterned paper. I also stamped a scattering of itty shapes to make the card a bit more magical.

With this card, I challenged myself to make a non-Halloween creation using a Halloween stamp set - so I let myself be inspired by Harry Potter. I think I'll send this card along to a friend that's a true HP fan.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Bad Day Love

The Ton was a new company to me when I bought Love and a Cat stamp set last year, but I simply could not resist the kitties and their expressions. They're so quirky and whimsical that I just had to have the set (along with a couple of others). I stamped out a whole bunch of kitties and spent quite a bit of time coloring them with different fur patterns and mediums.

One of the things I really love about this set is that it is full of accessories - and the website has a handy video tutorial that goes over all the different options and expressions you could give the kitties. If any of the accessories didn't seem clear, the video shows you exactly how to use it.

For my card, I kept things pretty clean and simple - making a quick distress ink background for the center panel and lining up the kitties in a row. I put them against a striped background, as it brought a modern feminine element and a bit of extra contrast to the card. I embellished with sequins.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mermazing Birthday Wishes!

The first thing that drew me in with Neat and Tangled's Mermazing stamp set was the name. As you may already know, I love puns and plays-on-words. They can be awfully clever at times, or just plain silly - and they make me giggle. So, with a name like Mermazing, this set was already a winner in my eyes. But after taking a closer look, I really liked the size of the mermaid and how she was designed - she's wearing a cute top that isn't too revealing - so she can be a modern everyday girl. She also has lovely flowing hair and a few accessories that would be great for making scenes.

I opted to keep my card very simple, pairing the mermaid (that I, of course, colored in Ariel colors) and fishes with a cute patterned paper from Echo Park. Since the pattern was flow-y and detailed, I chose not to add too much else -- just a few enamel dots and a birthday sentiment stamped in purple.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Autumn Leaves Hello

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry, and so did my plans to blog and share a card every day in September. However, I did still sneak in quite a few moments of creativity - so I'm excited to share all the lovely cards I've been creating.

Today's card is a mish-mash of manufacturers. It features a critter from Lawn Fawn, some stamps and dies from My Favorite Things and a die from Ellen Hutson. I also used some patterned paper and cork for my layers, as well as Tonic Nuvo drops for enamel dots. 

For this card, I tried to do the "layered but CAS" style that Kay Miller rocks. I'm not entirely convinced that I pulled it off effectively, but I had fun trying. I liked the color contrast, as well as the palette. It reminds me of autumn leaves crunching under my feet as I took walks through the neighborhood when I was younger.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Rocking Hello

 Today's stamp features Mama Elephant's Rock and Paws stamp set. Like last time, I used a teal background - though this time I just blended in some distress inks to a half-circle part. To punch up the contrast, I added a couple of black stars and a black enamel heart. I think it really brought the scene together.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Back in action: Yeti Thanks

Today's CAS card features Birdie Brown's Beast Friends stamp set, along with a sentiment from Mama Elephant's Many Thanks. I kept the card super simple, so the emphasis was on the cheerful palette and the adorable yeti. The yeti was colored with Copics and fussy-cut, then added to the card with foam tape.

This past month has been a rough month - not because anything bad happened (thankfully, everyone is very happy and healthy), but because we've been busy jumping into the last of summer adventures before school started again. It's been a lovely adventure, but one that left me a bit too scattered to find the time to photograph and share cards I've created.

Thankfully, I have had a morsel of down-time in which I could create. But sharing is a whole different beast (no pun intended!). I'm going to try to work in advance and share a creation every day. I can't promise I'll be able to find the time to write a long blog post, but there will be something fun to see every day.

Thanks for reading!