Thursday, July 20, 2017

Miss You and a Sale

Sometimes you find a stamp or die that goes perfectly with a cut of paper.  That's what happened with this card.

I really wanted to use this die cut from Waffle Flower crafts and as I was flipping through some patterned papers, this print from Pinkfresh just jumped out.  Perfect, right?

I did add a tiny stamped image to balance things on the right side of the card.  It was a little image from Altenew's Floral Shadow set as there was a space in the print that needed a little something in it.  I stamped it with some light ink and then used some cool gray Copics to soften/blend it.

The sentiment is also from that Floral Shadow set.

I could have left the card at that, but I added a couple strips of patterned paper at the bottom and some stitching.

I love it when the products do the work for you!

I also wanted to let you know that Danielle is running a big sale this weekend over at Neat & Tangled.  She doesn't often put the whole store on sale, but right now it's all 25% off.  If you've been eyeing something, it's a great time to pick it up!  And if you're inclined, this is my affiliate link to the store.  Happy shopping!

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hooray Cats

When we were on vacation I was able to get together with my friend Jocelyn.  We hung out with our families and also snuck in a little crafting time.

I really wanted to use this set from Mama Elephant, but there are so many cats and I was feeling lazy about the coloring, so I opted to color just their accessories and stripes and the one cat.

There is a coordinating die, but I wanted a crisp edge, so I fussy cut the piece.

The sentiment die is also Mama Elephant and the stamped sentiment is from Neat & Tangled's Itty Bitty Welcoming Committee set.

Thanks for visiting!

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

True Friends

Hey everyone!  I'm sharing this card over on the Neat & Tangled blog today.

I am just back from vacation, our family went out to South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming, a totally different part of the country.  We saw the Ingalls Homestead, Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, the Black Hills, Little Big Horn, Devil's Tower, caves, rocks, trees, lots of climbing and hiking.  It was a great time, and I'm still in an outdoorsy soft of mood which spilled over into today's card.

I pulled out my Calathea set for today's card, I created a similar card a while back for the A Blog Named Hero Anniversary hop, with softer more nontraditional colors, but today I went with the greens.  Just random stamping, trying to balance things, using a mix of first and second generation stamping.

One little trick, when using inks that are good for solid stamps because they will kind of soften and blend a bit (think Altenew or Hero Arts), I will run my heat gun over my panel after each layer of stamping.  I feel like this gives you a crisper image so that the layers don't bleed into one another.

I wanted a softer, more earthy and warmer look to the card, so I used a cream rather than white panel.

Once my stamping was done, I used the recently released Together stamp and my MISTI for the sentiment.  I love a good one layer card and the Calathea set is perfect for this.

A cream mat and kraft based finished this off.  Hope you are having a wonderful week and thanks for stopping by!

*Affiliate links to N&T store in text and to Ellen Hutson below

Friday, July 7, 2017

Giveaway Winners Take Two

Hey folks, I'm actually on vacation this week, so all my posts were pre-scheduled, but somehow I couldn't edit the winners section of my last post, so here are the winners for you.

@greenwdgirl (from IG) wins the Together stamp set

mandalj (from the blog) wins the Modern Triangles Cover Plate

@peppermintpatty42 (from IG) wins the Modern Triangles Stencil

Congrats to everyone, shoot me an email with your mailing address,  and I'll get your goodies sent out.

If you didn't win, but you must have something from the release head on over to the store, everything is now available.

Happy Friday!

Neat & Tangled July Release Recap and Giveaway Winner

Hey everyone!  The Neat & Tangled July release is now available in the store!  Here's a recap of my projects for this week:




I also have some winners to announce!

____ wins the Together stamp set

____ wins the Modern Triangles cover plate

____ wins the Modern Triangles stencil

If you didn't win, never fear, August is just around the corner and there will be more chances to win.  If there's something you must have, head on over to the store, Danielle is going to be doing some discounted stamp/die bundles this month, so you'll definitely want to check that out!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Neat & Tangled July Release and Giveaways - Day 4

Today is the final day of our July release reveals!  All products will be available tomorrow at 8 AM EST in the Neat & Tangled store.  Today we're showing off my new cover plate and stencil, Modern Triangles.

I teased the cover in one of my Monday cards and I have a couple more cards to share with you featuring the cover plate.

For this first one, I cut the cover from cream cardstock, and then randomly inlaid some of the gold pieces I saved from my Monday card into the triangle shapes.

The sentiment is from the You're a Gem set and was embossed using Princess Gold embossing powder.

For this next card, I dry embossed the cover plate, I love this look, it almost looks like one of those WRMK 3D embossing folders.  Normally, I take my photos head on, but this angled view gives a much better look at the dimension from the embossed piece.

I finished this one very simply using my Together stamp/die set that we highlighted on Monday.

There's also a stencil in this design.  For this card, I first inked over the stencil with Evergreen Bough Distress Ink.  Then I used three Prismacolor colored pencils to add a bit of shading to the three parts of the triangles.  This is not fancy shading, just to give the parts a bit of dimension, but as a whole it really makes those triangles pop.

I wanted to keep the focus on the background and stick with a one-layer look, so I added another sentiment from the You're a Gem set which was stamped in Versafine and then clear embossed a few times to give it a puffier/glossier look.  I thought the sentiment needed some grounding, so I added those dots from the Good Vibes set.

OK, time to head over to the Neat & Tangled blog to check out what the rest of the team created and to enter to win today's featured products.

I'm also going to be choosing some winners from comments this week here on the blog and on Instagram for my new release products, so be sure to leave a comment here and each day this week, and then head over to Instagram (@mprantner) for details on how to win there.

Winners will be announced tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Neat & Tangled July Release and Giveaways - Day 3

Are you ready for Day 3 of Neat & Tangled's July release?  Today we're showing off an adorable new set from Elena Roussakis called Schoolhouse.

I thought it would be fun to have the mouse holding up that big pencil to spell out teacher.

The big THANKS was created using my Journaling Alpha dies.

So cute, right?

Hop on over to the Neat & Tangled blog to check out what the rest of the team created and to enter to win this stamp/die set.

I'm also going to be choosing some winners from comments this week here on the blog and on Instagram for my new release products, so be sure to leave a comment here and each day this week, and then head over to Instagram (@mprantner) for details on how to win there.

Winners will be announced on Friday.  See you back here tomorrow for our final day of release reveals!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Neat & Tangled July Release and Giveaways - Day 2

Welcome back for Day 2 of Neat & Tangled release week.  Today we're showing off a new set from Danielle called You're a Gem.  There are a variety of handlettered sentiments and a whole host of gemstone images.

I wanted to create a one layer card, and these gemstones are perfect for creating a simple, structured background.  I chose to use the square/cushion cut gemstone stamped on an angle, leaving an open space for the sentiment.

Some simple coloring, no shading involved, was all this needed.

Be sure to head on over to the Neat & Tangled blog to see the full set reveal and and to enter to win it.

Don't forget to leave a comment here as well, as I'll be picking commenters to win some of my new release products.  For another chance - head over to my instagram (@mprantner).  Winners will be announced on Friday.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Neat & Tangled July Release and Giveaways - Day 1

Hey everyone!  It's July release week at Neat & Tangled!  Today we're showing off my new set, Together.  It features a large handlettered sentiment and then a variety of supporting sentiments.  There's also a coordinating die set.

I've got two cards to share today.  This first one focuses on the die set.  I cut the sentiment five times and then adhered it to the shadow die.

This was placed over that gold piece, a little something else you're going to see later this week, which was layered over a subtle pink paper from Maggie Holmes.  I added a secondary sentiment from the set that was embossed on a strip of navy cardstock.

To finish things off, I added some sequins from this month's sequin mix Starry Night, the colors were absolutely perfect for this card!

I made one more card to show off the stamp set.  This one was so easy and quick and easily mass producible.

I started off by watercoloring some stripes on a watercolor paper panel.  There are several companies out there that have watercolored stripe backgrounds, but it's so easy to create yourself, and there are so many other things I want to buy, I always just opt to do it myself.

Once the background was complete, it was just a matter of stamping the sentiment.  When I had that done, I thought it needed a bit more oomph, so using a journaling pen, I added some accent lines to the stripes.  So quick and easy!

OK, head on over to the Neat & Tangled blog to check out what the rest of the team created and to enter to win this stamp/die set.

I'm also going to be choosing some winners from comments this week here on the blog and on Instagram for my new release products, so be sure to leave a comment here and each day this week, and then head over to Instagram (@mprantner) for details on how to win there.

Winners will be announced on Friday.  See you back here tomorrow!

Friday, June 30, 2017

June 2017 in Books

Space Case - Stuart Gibbs - Juvenile Fiction - four stars - This is another of Ellie's battle books.  It's set in the future, and the main character is a boy named Dash whose family is chosen to be one of the first families to populate a moon colony.  One of the team members dies, and he's convinced that it was murder vice an accident.  He sets out to prove that he's right and adventure follows.  This was a fun one and a great book for boys.  It's also the first in a series, and the author has published a number of other books too that we'll be checking out.

The Orphan's Tale - Pam Jenoff - Historical Fiction - five stars - I really enjoyed this one, it's another WWII story about two women who are thrown together, one a Jew named Astrid, the other, Noa, rescues a baby from a train car filled with Jewish babies in a transport.  Much of the story takes place in a circus as Astrid is an aerialist and must teach Noa to perform.  It was a wonderful story, a lot of sadness, but also hope and some surprises too.  Really enjoyed it and will be reading more from this author.

The Last Days of Cafe Leila - Donia Bijan - Fiction - five stars - The story of a woman who returns to Iran after many years having been sent away by her father when she was a teenager for the United States.  Her marriage has just ended and he daughter is pushing her away, but she brings her anyway.  When she returns, she finds her father is dying and she learns the story behind her mother's death.  It's a story about reconnecting with your roots, finding yourself, healing past hurts and relationships, and friendship.  While I wasn't crazy about the ending, I loved the story and the journey.

The World of Yesterday - Stefan Zweig - Nonfiction - four stars - This book took me FOREVER, and I really debated what rating to give it.  It's the autobiography of an Austrian Jewish writer/playwright who lived 1881-1942.  It was referenced by Astrid Lindgren in her war diaries, and I thought it sounded interesting, so I borrowed it from the library.  This book is not for the faint of heart, it is downright boring for the first 100 or so pages when he's describing his youth.  It gets much more interesting once he starts working and as Europe progressed through pre-WWI, WWI, and WWII, but it is basically source material.  As I said, I was torn because while it was a slog and at times bored me to tears, there were all these fascinating accounts and facts, things that you'd never hear about when you are quickly studying WWI in school, but just as we in the US go very in depth into U.S. History, he knows all the details about Austrian history.  This took me about three weeks to read, and I always had another book going because I needed the break from it.  The codicil to this tome is that shortly after he finished it, he and his wife committed suicide, so viewed from that lens it's even more interesting.

Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11 - N. Griffin - juvenile fiction - three stars - This is another of Ellie's battle books.  This one was just OK.  It's definitely geared towards the rising third graders (the battle is for fourth and fifth graders), definitely not my favorite, but for kids in the age range, it will keep their attention.

Forty Autumns:  A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall - Nina Wilner - Nonfiction - five stars - I really enjoyed this one.  It's the story of the author's mother and her family.  Her mother fled East Germany and it's a great look at the repercussions for her family who remained behind, their communication, or lack thereof, during the ensuing years, and how things changed in East Germany throughout that period - good times and bad times.  This was very readable, lots of facts, but not at all boring or hard to get through.  Highly recommend it!

Tentacles - Roland Smith - Juvenlie Fiction - five stars - This is the sequel to one of Ellie's Battle Books from the last round (Cryptid Hunters).  We both loved that book and this is just as enjoyable. Marty and Grace, along with Marty's friend Luther set out on an expedition with their uncle to catch a giant squid.  Of course they are being chased by Noah Blackwood, and there are saboteurs on board as well.  Plenty of twists and turns, and we're both looking forward to the next book in the series.

Rich People Problems - Kevin Kwan - Fiction - five stars - This is the third book in the Crazy Rich Asians series, and just as good as the others.  It's a look into the world of very elite and wealthy Asians.  I know no one who even closely qualifies for this category so I have to take the author's word, but it sounds crazy enough to be true.  In this book, the matriarch of the family suffers a heart attach and is near death, so back home come all the relatives, some to make amends, some to ensure their stake in the family fortune, some to say goodbye.  Very funny and very entertaining.

A few folks also indicated that they were interested in a full list of Ellie's Battle Books, so here you go.  I think the librarian at Ellie's school does a really good job picking these.  He balances the level of reading so that the reading level spans fourth to fifth grade, makes them interesting for both girls and boys, and also chooses books in a variety of genres (poetry, historical fiction, detective, science fiction, etc.).  I also love that many of the books are parts of series, so there's lots of opportunity for further reading.

Operation Redwood, S. Terrell French
Einstein the Class Hamster, Juliet Blackwell
Benjamin Franklinstein Lives!, Matthew McElligott
Jack Strong Takes a Stand, Tommy Greenwald
Heartbeat, Sharon Creech
Dash, Kirby Larsen
The Liberation of Gabriel King, K. I. Going
The Terrible Two, Mac Barnett and Jory John (at least one sequel to this)
I, Q., Roland Smith (we love this whole series)
The Batboy, Mike Lupica
Sea of Trolls, Nancy Farmer (This is the first in a trilogy all of which were good)
The Red Blazer Girls, Michael D. Beil
Silverwing, Kenneth Oppel (Also a trilogy and all very good)
How They Choked, Georgia Bragg (this is probably my least favorite Battle Book)
Redwall, Brian Jacques (A series with many books, I’ve read a bunch more and enjoyed them all)
The Map Trap, Andrew Clements
First Light, Rebecca Steed
The Secret Box, Whitaker Ringwald (Also a series, Ellie has read the second one, but I haven’t gotten to it yet)
Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief, Wendelin Van Draanen
Iron Thunder, Avi
Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld (also a series)
Moonshadow: Rise of the Ninja, Simon Higgins (I think this one has sequels too)
Travel Team, Mike Lupica
Pugs of the Frozen North, Philip Reeve
Roller Girl, Victoria Jamieson
Lowji Discovers America, Candace Fleming
All the Answers, Kate Messner
Cryptid Hunters, Roland Smith (Also a series)
Home Sweet Motel (Welcome to Wonderland, #1), Chris Grabenstein (Also a series)
Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles, #1), Suzanne Collins (Also a series)
Space Case, Stuart Gibbs 
Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11, N. Griffin 
Dream on Amber, Emma Sheva
Oliver and the Sea Monkeys, Philip Reeve
A Whole New Ballgame, Phil Bildner

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Altenew June Inspiration Challenge

Hey everyone!  I've got another challenge card to share.  I don't get to play along with challenges as much as I'd like these days, so two in two days is pretty darn good.

This time I'm playing along with Altenew's June Inspiration Challenge.

I've been eyeing the Floral Shadow stamp set for a while, and finally picked it up this month and just had to use it right away.

I stamped and clear embossed several of the images on a watercolor panel, and then added watercolor.  This was done with just three colors, really mostly two, a brown a purplish pinkish color, and then later a darker purple just for some accents.  In terms of application rather than a lot of brushing, it was more light dabbing and touching color to the panel and then adding water to soften if needed.

I worked in layers, adding color, letting things dry or soften and then going back and adding more.  When you build up the color in layers you can get a really rich and still luminous effect.

Once I was happy with the overall color, I added some splatter using the two main colors.

The sentiment is from label love, and I popped it up over a bit of thread and added some sequins for some sparkle and texture.

Hope you like it!

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