Tuesday, March 28, 2023

SSS Just For You, Bunny Egg Stencil Set

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Hey everyone!  I've got a couple super quick and easy Easter projects to share today using the Bunny Egg Stencil set from Simon Says Stamp.

The set consists of two stencils that work together, but for today's projects I'm using them singly.

For the card, I started by die cutting a curve on the bottom edge of my white panel.  Then I used the bunny head stencil with a rainbow of inks (BubblegumCantaloupeLemonade, LimeliciousSeafoam) to stencil the top of the bunny's head along the edge.

This piece was trimmed down and then popped up with foam tape over a piece of soft gray cardstock which I white embossed the sentiment (from the Hippity Hoppity set) on.

Next I created the quickest, easiest tags.

I started by using the second stencil, which creates an egg shaped sun image around the bunny silhouette.  I used Lemonade, Sunbeam, Cantaloupe, and the tiniest hint of Seafoam at the bottom for the lighter tag, and then Sunbeam, Cantaloupe, and Seafoam for the darker one.

Once my inking was done, I die cut the tag using the Large Standard Tag die, and stamped the sentiment, also from the Hippity Hoppity set.

A bit of twine finished things off.

Super simple!

Thursday, March 23, 2023

SSS Just for You, Herb Labels

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

I've got another very quick and easy card to share today featuring the new Herb Labels stamp set from Simon's Just for You release.  

This set is perfect for making garden-ey things like labels for stakes, seed packets, etc., but for non gardeners like myself, the sentiments allow you to make fun punny cards for your gardener friends.

I started with a sheet of kraft cardstock and stamped the large label repeatedly with Latte ink to create a pattern.  For the center label, the image was stamped twice to make it stand out a bit more.  

I then used the different herb images stamping them within the labels, again the center dill image was stamped twice.  

The dill image was colored using colored pencils, and then I added a bit of inking around the edges with Latte to give the center a bit of a glow.

The kraft panel was trimmed down, matted with a dark brown panel, and then stitched to my card base.

For the sentiment, I started by stamped the smaller label with Latte ink twice.  The sentiment itself was stamped with Woodsy inside the label, and then the entire piece was fussy cut and popped up with foam tape.

This was a quick one, and you could easily make a card set by varying the featured herb/sentiment.

That's all for. me today, almost the weekend!

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

SSS Just for You, Spring Florals Hot Plate

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

I've got a super quick card to share today featuring the new Spring Florals Hot Plate.  It's a really gorgeous floral, but for this card, I switched things up a bit and used it for dry embossing as opposed to foiling.

I started with a panel of watercolor paper which I spritzed with water before dry embossing the hot foil plate.

I then added a bit of color by swiping several inkpads across the embossed panel to create an ombre look using Lemonade, Sunbeam, and then Cantaloupe from top to bottom.

The finished panel was machine stitched to my card base.

To finish things off, I pulled out the Happy Easter die, cutting it three times, stacking the die cuts for some dimension, and adhering it directly to my embossed piece.

Super quick and easy, and love being able to get some extra work out of my hot foil plates!

Saturday, March 18, 2023

SSS Just for You Blog Hop, More Quilted

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Happy Saturday!  Today I'm participating in Day 2 of Simon Says Stamp's Just for You blog hop.  You should have arrived here from Mindy Eggen's blog, but I've got the full hop list below in case you need it.

As with every good hop, there are prizes to be had.  One commenter from each stop along the blog will win $25 to spend in the Simon store, and everyone wins with the code GREEN this weekend which will take $7 off any order $40 or more.

I'm sharing three cards today featuring my Quilted background.  This is a really fun background to color because you create so many different looks.  For my first card, I colored the pattern with Copics as a series of alternating squares.  I used B00, B000, BG02, and BG05 for the bluer blues, and BG10, BG11, BG13, and BG32 for the greener blues.

The colored panel was trimmed down and matted with some turquoise cardstock, and I finished things off with a sentiment from the Clean Line Stacks set which was stamped, die cut, and then popped up with foam tape.  I did also add a second die cut which was just slightly offset to make the sentiment pop a bit more.

For this next card, the background was colored with kind of a woven look.  I used  R24, R29, B02, and B05 for the primary design, and N0 and N1 to soften the squares.

The sentiment is from the Reverse Yay sentiment strips and was popped up with foam tape.

For my last card, I used YG05 and Y06 to olor the triangles and parallelograms and N9 and N7 for the squares.  I was trying to play up the pinwheel shapes in the design, so I went in with my C2 marker to trace around those for emphasis.

This time, I trimmed the panel down along the diagonal and popped that piece up with foam tape over a white panel stamped with the sentiment, from the Yay You set.

Your next stop on the hop is Anna-Karin Evaldsson and I have the full list below if you need it.

Happy hopping!

Simon Says Stamp Blog
Laura Bassen
Caly Person
Nichol Spohr
Debby Hughes
Amy Rysavy
Sidnie Des Jardins
Mindy Eggen
Miriam Prantner
Anna-Karin Evaldsson
Dilay Nacar
Barb Engler
Kim Hamilton
Jessica Vasher

Thursday, March 16, 2023

SSS Just for You Release, Quilted Background

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Hi all!  It's release day at Simon Says Stamp!  Lots of great spring and Easter themed items in this month's Just for You release.  The release also includes my latest background, Quilted.

Today's card shows it off in it's purest form.

The background was stamped with Versafine Clair ink on a panel of turquoise cardstock. I added a bit of inking around the edges using Ocean ink to give the center of the panel a bit of a glow.

Following the pattern, I cut an octagon out of the top center of the panel for a window.

I attached an acetate sheet to the back of my panel to seal off the window, and then using a black mat as the base, I created a shaker.

The Love Ya sentiment was cut from Silver Matte cardstock and adhered over the window.

Super clean and simple.

Be sure to head over to Simon to check out the full release.  I'll be back on Saturday with some more Quilted cards to share!

Thursday, March 2, 2023

SSS Be Creative, Parallelogram Take 2

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

I've got another card to share today using my new Parallelogram background.  

This background was created much like the one from my card on Tuesday with a few modifications.  For the embossing, I used Hero Arts Sand embossing powder.  This is one of my favorite embossing powders, I love the unique look you get from it.

For the background base, I used Squeezed Lemonade, Carved Pumpkin, and Candied Apple.  I did a bit more dabbing/smooshing this time around to get a more variegated look.

Then I went in with my Distress Watercolor Pencils.  I used Seedless Preserves, Vintage Photo, Wild Honey, and Crackling Campfire.  I used the first three colors to randomly color in some of the Parallelograms and the Crackling Campfire to add a some pops of color to the white space in the design.

For a little extra shine and texture, I splattered some Hero Arts Rose Gold Metallic Ink over the panel.

The Feel Better Soon sentiment was die cut three times from dark orange cardstock and once from Matte Gold and then adhered to my panel which was then popped up over my card base.

Hope you like it!

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

February 2023 in Books

Just an OK month of reading this month.  I got bogged down with a bunch of three star books middle-to-end of the month, but in terms of genres I thought this was a pretty balanced month, a little bit of lots of different things.  Full recaps are below:

The Diamond Eye - Kate Quinn - historical fiction - four stars - Based on the life of Mila Pavlichenko, a Russian sniper during WWII.  With over 300 kills she becomes famous and is sent to the U.S. on a goodwill tour of sorts to try and encourage the U.S. to enter into the war.  I really enjoyed the parts about Mila's life and how she became a sniper.  Those are interspersed with the details of her tour in the U.S. and another sniper who is trying to assassinate FDR and pin the crime on Mila.  The U.S. based story just was not as compelling to me, and the the book dragged a bit which is why it's four rather than five stars.  In light of current events, I found the book interesting in that Mila is Ukrainian (from Kyiv), but staunchly Russian.   

Kaikeyi - Vaishnavi Patel - fiction - five stars - I really loved this one.  It's a retelling of a Hindu story from the Ramayana.  I've really not read much in the way of Hindu folklore/mythology, but I imagine this is similar to retellings such as Circe, The Witch's Heart, etc.  I really loved the character of Kaikeyi, the third wife to Dasharasha, who is a warrior and diplomat.  She works together with her fellow wives to improve the lot of women and others in her kingdom, but cannot prevent war and turmoil in the next generation.  This was a really rich retelling, great character development, and just well done.  Hoping that there will be many more books from this author.

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood - fiction - five stars - I read this years ago, I think while in high school, but I wanted to read the recent sequel, so I thought I would refresh my memory beforehand.  It's the story of Offred, who lives in a time when the U.S. as we know it is no longer.  The president was assassinated, Congress as well, there have been nuclear accidents, goods are hard to come by, radical fundamentalists have taken hold of the government.  In addition to all this, the populations is in dire straits as birth rates have fallen dramatically, sterility and infant mortality are high.  As a result, the powers that be create the roll of handmaid, women whose sole purpose is to serve as incubators for others' children.  The women are known to be able to reproduce (they have children who have been taken away and been given to more desirable parents), but have been designated as handmaids because they had children out of wedlock, were second wives, etc.  It's an imagining of society turned on it's head.  Extremely thought provoking, highly recommend.

Unlikely Animals - Annie Hartnett - fiction - three stars - Emma Starling is returning home because her father is dying.  He's also hallucinating that he sees a deceased town leader and animals everywhere.  Emma meanwhile has not lived up to her potential.  She used to have a 'healing touch' that could cure people of minor injuries/aches and pains.  She went to California for college an was supposed to start medical school, but she basically froze and never showed up.  She returns to a family in shambles and tries to find her way in town.  Thrown in is the commentary of the deceased in town - from the graveyard they comment upon events happening in and around town.  This just never really took off for me.  I never connected with the characters, it all seemed kind of haphazard and thrown together.  Not my favorite.

The Brilliance of Stars (Jack and Ivy, #1) - J'nell Ciesielski - historical fiction - three stars - Picked this one off the hold shelf as it looked interesting, but it was a bit of a dud for me.  Probably closer to 2 1/2 stars.  Philip and Ivy are orphans living on the streets in Washington DC.  They happen upon Jack, who is an agent for Talon, an agency dedicated to making sure right wins out in the world.  They are taken in by Talon, trained, and being to help with the work.  In particular, they are after Balaur Tsar, a Russian arms dealer who has invented a terrible weapon that must be destroyed at all costs.  Just too much happening here.  The author was channeling Marvel comics (she admits as much) and the idea of super soldier thrown in with the rest of it was just over the top for me.  It seemed almost like two books, orphans taken in and happy ending, and then science fictioney action story.  Meh.

The Red Widow: The Scandal that Shook Paris and the Woman Behind it All - non-fiction - three stars -My non-fiction book for the month which I also pulled off the new books shelf at the library.  It's about Meg, married to a less than average artist, who desires to socialize and be part of circles in society greater than her lot.  She is able to fashion this life for herself by essentially becoming a high end courtesan.  The rich (during the Belle Epoque) period commission or purchase a piece of her husband's work, and she eventually grants them a liaison, or affair.  She beds much of Paris high society, including the president, Faure, before scandal.  Her husband and mother are murdered in her home and she of course is a suspect.  It's an interesting story, but the book was hard to finish.  The first part, about her upbringing and how she established herself in society was really interesting, but the latter part, after the murders, her arrest, and trial really dragged for me.  I confess that I skimmed a lot of the last part of the book as I wanted to see what happened, but was bored by much of the text.  Just OK.

City of the Dead (City Spies Book 4)
- James Ponti - juvenile fiction - five stars - Another great City Spies book. In this episode the kids are trying to prevent/thwart a hack of a number of public institutions in London. The trail leads them to Egypt.  I felt like in this book the team worked a lot collectively, but apart in teams to tackle multiple threats/suspects at the same time.  There was also a twist in the emergence of Mother's son, and a bit of a mystery that leaves you wondering about what will happen next.  Love this series.

Least favorite book this month was The Brilliance of Stars, and favorite by far was Kaikeyi.  Right now I'm reading my classic for March, My Antonia.  Next up are a Harold Fry sequel, Maureen, and Black Cake.  Would love to know what you have been reading!