Thursday, August 11, 2022

SSS Horizon Lines Stencil

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp

Hey everyone!  I have another super quick and easy card to share today.  

Just like Tuesday's card, this one features stencils.  That's one of the things I love about stencils, they can make a big impact in not a lot of time.  A lot of the newer stencils coming out aren't your normal stencil that just creates a background, these can easily be the focal point of your card.  That's true for the stencil I'm using today, the Horizon Lines stencil from Simon Says Stamp.

What made today's card even easier is that I used just one color family - this meant that there was no cleaning up of the stencil required between layers.  I used Flannel, Earl, and Charcoal from Simon Says Stamp.

The Horizon Lines stencil is a 6x6 stencil that has multiple landscape silhouettes cut into it.  It's all connected, so you can just slide your paper behind a layer and ink.  You do need to do a bit of masking so the other lines don't show, but I accomplished this mostly by just holding a piece of scrap cardstock over the rest of the stencil, and sometimes using a bit of tape.

For my card, starting from the top of my panel with Flannel ink, I created three layers of clouds.  There are two different cloud horizon lines on the stencil, and you can play with both the angle at which you're inking as well as move from one side of the stencil to another, so although I inked three layers of clouds, you can't really tell that one of the layers was the same horizon line.  The other great thing about this stencil is that while I inked below the horizon line, you could easily place your panel at the top of the cloud and ink above the clouds for yet another look.  

I started with a very light hand, so that although I used Flannel for the top two cloud layers, the second one is darker than the first.  For the third layer of clouds, I used mostly Flannel with a hit of Earl.

Next for the city.  There is one cityscape horizon line, and I inked it twice using Earl.  Again, I used a lighter hand on the first layer vs. the second layer.  I also used different sides of the stencil.  For the first layer, I slid my panel all the way to the right of the stencil, the second time around I slide it to the left.  I also overlapped the layers a bit to create some extra depth.

And finally the foreground.  There are three ground line horizon lines on the stencil, and for this card I used two of them, inking with Charcoal, lighter for the first layer and darker for the second.

This really was so easy to do, and while I used grays and three different shades of ink, you could really use any color family and any number of colors in the color family.

I finished things off with a sentimenet from the Well Wishes set which was stamped with Versafine and embossed with Ranger Frosted Crystal Antiquities embossing powder.

Hope you are having a great week!

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Waffle Flower Crafts Moon Bay Stencils

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp

Hi friends!  Today I've got a card featuring the Moon Bay stencil set from Waffle Flower Crafts.  

These were designed by my crafty friend JJ, and I love how quickly and easily you can create the landscape. It's a set of three stencils, and not only are they very easy to line up, but the spaces are a good size and far enough apart that very little masking is required.

For my card I used some darker colored inks to create a moody evening scene.  I used Sunbeam for the sun/moon, a combination of Cadette, Royal, and Sweets for the sky, Sage with a bit of Pine for the green areas, Twilight and Iris for the mountains in the background, and Galaxy for the land areas in the foreground.  For the water, I used Cadette with just a touch of Royal for the water.

Once my inking was complete, the panel was trimmed down, and after it had thoroughly dried I gold embossed a sentiment from an old Neat & Tangled sentiment set.

To finish things off, I die cut a large frame using the Waffle Flower Wooden Frame dies form Matte Gold cardstock, and then popped it up with foam adhesive.

The stencils really do all the work here.  So easy!

Thursday, August 4, 2022

SSS, Take Note and Layered Alphas

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp

Super quick card today.  I pulled out my Layered Alpha stencils and inked them up using Marine, Cadette, and Royal.

The panel was trimmed down to create a horizontal piece for my card.  I love how it really just looks like a piece of patterned paper.

I added a black mat to set it off, and then adhered it over a turquoise mat on my card.  Originally I was going to leave it perfectly horizontal, but then thought it would be fun to tilt it a bit.

The sentiment is from the Take Note stamp set.  It was stamped with Versafine and then fussy cut to look like die cutting because I have somehow misplaced the coordinating dies.....if you could see the state of my crafting space you would understand....

I added a secondary sentiment, also from the Take Note set just below it, embossed in white on some black cardstock. 

The sentiment pieces were popped up with foam adhesive as well.

I thought about adding some sequins, but decided this would probably go to a guy and so decided to leave it on the plainer side.

This was super quick and easy and since the Layered Alphas stencil set has four rows of letters, you could easily get two cards in one go.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

SSS Dream Big, Fab Flower

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp

Hey everyone!  Todays' card features the Fab Floral Cover and Fab Floral individual dies from the Simon Says Stamp Dream Big release.

Before I go any further, I have to comment that I am just a little embarassed by the fact that the outline die at the bottom of the page is slightly askew.  I was photographing in a hurry so I could get. my cards to Simon HQs for their livestream and didn't realize it was a tad bit off until I had already sent the package off and was editing photos. Insert grimace emoji.

Ok, enough of that, let's talk this card.

I started by diecutting the Fab Floral Cover from a teal cardstock.  

The Fab Floral individual dies is is a pack of two.  Once cuts all the little petals, and one cuts an outline that goes around the floral openings.  I LOVE that outline die.  I really think it creates a wonderful crispness to the design.  Mine were cut from Glossy Black cardstock, and then adhered to the top of my cover plate.  I used the Microdot Adhesive sheets for this as they are perfect for those detailed dies.

Once those were in place (or mostly in place), I added foam adhesive to the bottom of my coverplate and popped it up over a piece of light turquoise cardstock.  

The sentiment is from the XL Student Greetings set.  It was stamped on that light turquoise cardstock with Versafine, clear embossed, die cut, and popped up over my cover plate.

This one was a little fiddly to create because of the outlines, but I love how it turned out!

Monday, August 1, 2022

July 2022 in Books

Hey all, some pretty good reads this month.  It was a nice mix of genres.  Here's the lowdown:

- by Isabel Allende - historical fiction - four stars - The story of Violeta, a woman living in an unnamed South American country.  She grew up in a wealthy family, but they lost everything during the Great Depression, moving to the country and starting over.  I really like Allende, but this wasn't my favorite of her books.  The story overall was OK, but I felt like it was a little preachy trying to tackle too many societal issues.  I also wasn't crazy about the way that it was told, as a letter to a beloved family member.  Still a good read, just not my favorite Allende work.

Charlie Thorne and the Curse of Cleopatra (Charlie Thorne #3) - by Stuart Gibbs - juvenile fiction - five stars - Charlie is tracking down Cleopatra's greatest treasure, meanwhile she has multiple organizations on her tail.  She's also teamed up with her cousin Dante and his partner who the CIA have basically hung out to dry.  I really enjoy how Gibbs weaves history and archaeology together with the story, it's a great way for kids to learn a little while enjoying a fun action book.  The girls and I all enjoyed this one and can't wait for the next book.

The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton - by Eleanor Ray - fiction - four stars - I really enjoyed this one.  Amy Ashton is a hoarder.  She lives a monastic/reclusive life in her home which is crammed full of treasures.  Her neighbors think she isa. nuisance and have reported her to the housing commission.  Amy wasn't always this way.  Years ago she lived a normal life, had a best friend, and a boyfriend, until they disappeared at the same time.  Amy always thought something nefarious occurred, but everyone else just thought they ran off together.  This one was a little predictable, but I really liked Amy, a nice feel good read.

We are the Brennans
- by Tracey Lange - fiction - four stars - This one was probably more like three and a half stars rounded up.  Sunday Brennan was just in a terrible car accident in California, after driving drunk.  She has been away from home for years, leaving without explanation.  Sunday heads hone to recover, reconnecting with her family and former boyfriend.  Things at home are difficult as well, there are a lot of secrets being kept between family members.  Sunday's return starts to. unravel those issues as well as explain why she left in the first place.  There were a few unexpected twists in this one, although also a few things that were a bit too inconvenient.  I liked Sunday, but a several of the other characters were a little annoying. 

The Paper Girl of Paris - by Jordyn Taylor - juvenile historical fiction - four stars - This was one of Ellie's books that she passed along to me.  This is a dual storyline book, the present day action follows sixteen year old Alice whose beloved grandmother just died.  She left her an apartment in Paris that no one knew about.  Alice and her parents head to Paris and find the apartment which appears to have been untouched for years.  Alice learns that her grandmother had a sister, and she sets out to find out about what happened to her, and why her grandmother never talked about her.  The WWII timeframe story is about Alice's grand-aunt Adalyn, explaining what happened to her, and her involvement in the resistance.  I enjoyed this one although I thought it a bit odd that Alice's parents allowed her to roam Paris alone given that she had never been there before.  There was also a secondary storyline involving Alice's mom which I thought was just extraneous and unneeded. 

East of Eden - by John Steinbeck - fiction - five stars - I read this one years ago and remember really enjoying it, and I've been wanting to get back into some classics since I feel like I'm mostly reading newer books these days.  This was Steinbeck's first book.  It follows the story of Adam Trask, his complicated relationship with his father and brother, his even more complicated marriage, and then the lives of his twin sons.  It's a really interesting look at good and evil, nature vs. nurture, if people are redeemable, the need for love and validation and how character is formed.  It's definitely a lengthy read, but just as enjoyable now as it was years ago.

The Warsaw Orphan - by Kelly Rimmer - historical fiction - three stars - This one was just OK.  It's another WWII novel and follows the life of Emilia, who had to flee her home in Poland after her father and brother were killed by the Nazis.  She was adopted by the brother's fiance's sister and husband, and they head to Warsaw living below the radar in case people are still looking for Emilia.  Just beyond the ghetto wall lives Roman who is half Jewish.  His Catholic father passed years ago, and his family now includes a step-father and two step-siblings, all full Jews.  Emilia becomes involved in smuggling children out of the ghetto and meets Roman in this capacity.  She is able to help smuggle his infant step-sister out.  After the rest of his family is deported, Roman becomes involved in the resistance.  Overall it was a good story, but for some reason it really dragged for me.  I did like that Rimmer did not flinch from the difficult hard things.  There was plenty of that in the book, but the character of Roman was frustrating to me, and I felt like at the end the change in character was too rushed/didn't make sense.

The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear - by Kate Moore - non-fiction - five stars - My one non-fiction book for the month, and a really good one.  I wasn't sure if this one would be a slow read, but it was actually pretty zippy.  It's about the life of Elizabeth Packard.  Her husband, a minister, had her committed to an asylum simply because she was being a problem for him - too outspoken, disagreeing with him on theology, etc.  This was in 1860, and women basically had no rights, it was well within his ability to do, and she spent three years in an asylum as a result.  She was finally released, but her husband wasn't happy about it and was just about to take her to Massachusetts to have her committed again, when her friends intervened.  They forced a trial to prover her insanity, and she was found by the jury to be sane.  She then went on to champion the rights of women, changing laws to prevent husbands from committing wives who were not insane, and working to have the administrator in the asylum where she had been committed deemed unfit.  Packard is an inspiring woman who truly cared about those she was incarcerated with.  She could easily have forgotten about them after her release, but she worked tirelessly as a champion for them.  Great read.

Harvey Takes the Lead - by Colleen Nelson - juvenile fiction - five stars - This is the third Harvey book, about a Westie who loves his human Maggie as well as his friends and residents of Brayside Retirement Home.  This is probably my second favorite of the books, the first being my favorite.  I felt like the pace of this one was a lot faster, and I really enjoyed the storyline.  There's a new director at Brayside, and she's making some unwelcome changes.  Meanwhile, the residents are dealing with a serious medical issue for one of their beloved members, and Maggie is trying out for the school musical.  Austin, another major character who is another kid who helps out at Brayside is also having some financial issues.  Cute, and funny, and heartwarming.  The chapters are nice and short which I think is great for younger readers.

I think my favorite this month was The Woman They Could Not Silence.  That's the first time in a while when my favorite has been non-fiction.  I'm currently reading The Master and the Margarita, which I'm just getting into and not quite sure about, and The Messy Lives of Book People which I'm enjoying so far.  Please share what you've been reading!

Thursday, July 28, 2022

SSS Dream Big, Alstroemeria Stem

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp

This week has been all about the dies from Simon's Dream Big release.

Today I'm showing off the Alstroemeria Stem dies.

This is a really sweet flower die, easy to put together, fun to mix and match colors.

I started by die cutting the flowers from a variety of cardstock in the red/orange/yellow families and then just played with the different combinations until I got a few that I liked.

The stems and leaves were cut from two different shades of green.

I added a some soft blue inking to the bottom of a panel of cardstock, and then arranged the flowers over top.  Everything was adhered directly to the panel, so this is a nice flat card, perfect for mailing, but because of all the layers, you get a lot of dimension too.

The sentiment is from the XL Student Greetings set.

That's all for me today.  I've got lots more to share next week!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

SSS Dream Big, Tropical Leaf Bunch

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp

Happy Wednesday!  Todays' card features the Tropical Leaf Bunch die from the Dream Big release.

I thought it would be fun to create a bit of a 'gilded' card using this die.

The die was cut from a panel of cream cardstock, I added a piece of printer paper to the back that was covered with adhesive, and then inlaid a die cut that was cut from Matte Gold cardstock.

The Tropical Leaf Bunch was then cut from three shades of green cardstock.  

I used the lightest color as the base, and then cut portions of the leaves from the medium and dark green, adhering them to the light green piece.

This entire piece was then adhered slightly offset over top of my Matte Gold die cut. 

I think that bit of gold peeking through gives it such a sophisticated look.

The sentiment is from the new XL Student Greetings set and was embossed in gold.

To finish things off, I added a strip of that Matte Gold cardstock, towards the bottom of my card base, and then popped the die cut/stamped panel over top with foam adhesive.

I went with traditional colors, but I think this would look so pretty with some non traditional pinks or blue/teals too.