Thursday, September 21, 2023

Janes Doodles, St. Nick

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Happy Thursday!  Remember last week when I shared a card that I created using the Geometric Builder Circle dies that I found when I was cleaning up?  Well another little treasure that I found at the same time is this adorable skating Santa image from a retired Janes Doodles set called St. Nick that I colored a while back and then promptly lost.

I thought he would be perfect for a faux snowglobe.

First I doctored up my image a little bit to add some ice using my Copics.  Then I trimmed down the colored panel and adhered it to my card base.

For the front panel, I cut a piece of kraft cardstock and die cut a snow globe opening using an older MFT die.

Next, I added some texture and interest to the panel using the Simon Says Stamp Falling Snow stencil and some embossing paste.

Once this was dry, I lightly traced the snow globe opening around my Santa, and then used those lines to place my foam tape and create a little well for a shaker.  

I used some clear seed beads for the shaker contents, removed the foam tape around my shaker well, and adhered a piece of clear transparency.

I then added some more foam tape around the edges of the card, and adhered my stenciled panel.

To finish things off, I white embossed a sentiment from Hello Bluebird's Typed Christmas set on a strip of dark gray cardstock.  I then trimmed the edges at an angle to mimic a snow glove base, and popped that up just below my shaker opening.

It was fun to be able to mix and match lots of different companies and give some love to some of my older goodies for this card.

I should clearly clean more often because you never know what might turn up!

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

SSS STAMPtember, More Layered Nubers

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Hi friends, I have a fun card to share today using my new Layered Numbers stencil for Simon Says Stamp as well as some older products.

I started by creating my background using the Layered Number stencils.  I chose three color families using the lightest color for the top row of numbers, the medium color for the middle layer, and the darkest color for the bottom layer.  The colors used were Trio 12 (Carnation, Peony, and Rose), Trio 9 (Melon, Cantaloupe, and Sherbet), and Trio 3 (Lemonade, Sunbeam, and Citrine).

The finished panel was trimmed down and then adhered to my card base.

For the sentiment, I pulled out some oldies but goodies.  I used Altenew's Tall Alpha Dies for the 'count' which were cut from adhesive backed black foam.  

The other parts of the sentiment were created using Lawn Fawn's Milo's ABCs which were white embossed on black cardstock and then popped up with foam tape.

This one came together very quickly and I love the result!

Thursday, September 14, 2023

SSS Rotating Quadrants/Geometric Builder Circles Mashup

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

I'm interrupting my STAMPtember postings for a card that has been percolating in my head since my Rotating Quadrants background was released.

I had planned to make this card during that release, but I could not find my Geometric Builder Circles dies.  I even started questioning if I actually owned the dies, or had just used them at someone's house.

Luckily, I had to do some cleaning the other day and unearthed my Geometric Builder Circles dies!  (They were absolutely NOT where they were supposed to be.)

I started by stamping my background with Celery ink and then trimming it down.

Then I die cut the circle die that creates quadrants with a slightly darker shade of green.

These were adhered over my stamped background.

I adhered this piece to a black mat that showed only on the top and bottom edges.

The You Matter die was cut four times from black cardstock, adhered together and then to the stamped panel,

A secondary sentiment from the Reverse Yay Sentiment Strips was popped up just under the sentiment die to finish things off..

This was really fun and easy card to create.  It would be great for mass production and you could create it in a variety of different shades.  

So glad I finally found my dies and was able to bring this to life!

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

SSS STAMPtember, Happy Happy Halloween

*This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Hi all!  I've got a fun Halloween card to share with you today featuring the new Happy Happy Halloween die and a few of the new Pawsitively Saturated Mini Cubes from the Purple Fields set.

I started out by creating the patterned paper for my card by simply swiping three of those mini ink cubes: Lilac, Orchid, and Amethyst across my panel.

I then die cut the Happy Happy Halloween from the center of the panel.

I adhered a black mat directly to my card base, and then added a strip of orange cardstock where the letters of Halloween occurred when my die cut panel was centered over top.

I then create a little 'well' around the area that the die cut letters showed through with foam tape and added some sequins in the middle.

I backed my die cut panel with acetate, added additional foam tape around the edges of the black mat so that it would support the full die cut panel, and adhered my panel over top.

Love how vibrant those purples are and the contrast with the orange.  

While the fact that this is a shaker card adds some extra steps, overall this was a very easy card to put together.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

STAMPtember, Intersecting Lines

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Today I'm sharing a few cards created using my new Intersecting Lines background.  It's currently sold out, but if you need it, just click the 'Notify Me When Back in Stock' button, enter your email, and you'll get a notification when it's back.

I 'colored' the background by masking off different strips, using the different lines as guides.  You need to pick colors that blend well together otherwise you can get a muddy effect.  I used just three shades of ink: Bubblegum, Lilac, and Marine.

I kept my inking very light so that you can really see where the colors are layered and nothing is too overpowering.  

Super easy and relaxing to create.

I finished things off with the Yay You sentiment which was die cut in black.  The shadow piece was die cut with white and then lightly inked with Lilac.

These next two cards feature a technique I've used several times in the past.

I start by stamping on my colored cardstock with a dark ink in that same color family.

Next, I use Copics to color different sections.  I chose two shades of each color using the lighter for the areas that have just one set of lines, and the darker for areas that have the intersecting lines.  For the red card, I used R29 and R39.  For the green card, I used G09 and G29.

Here's what my cardstock looked like when I was done coloring:

What I want to emphasize is that the coloring is nowhere near perfect, but it doesn't matter at all.

Once the coloring was done, I placed my cardstock back into the stamping platform, but this time I inked with Versamark and gold embossed.

That embossing covers up all of those coloring imperfections.

I added gold foiled and die cut sentiments using the new Elegantly Modern Christmas foil sentiments and dies.

These were popped up with foam tape. A smattering of gold sequins completed the look.

As you can see, there is a bit of a trick in picking out the colors.  The red definitely did not have as strong a contrast as the green.

This is a fun technique that is not hard to achieve.  Hope you will try it!

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

STAMPtember, Layered Number Stencils

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Hi friends!  Today I am sharing a couple cards created using my new Layered Number Stencils.  These coordinate with the previously released Layered Alpha stencils and work in the same way.

For this first card, I used Tropic, Ocean, and Royal.

The stenciled panel was trimmed down, I added a black mat and a couple of sentiments from the Reverse Sassy Birthday Sentiment Strips.

Super quick and easy.

This next card is a bit more involved.

I thought that the combination of Layered Alphas and Numbers would be perfect for a back to school card.

I used Cherry, Cadette, and Sunbeam for my different stenciled layers.

Then I stamped the large border image from the Take Note stamp set, colored the images with Copics using RV13, RV14, and RV17 for the pinks, Y4, Y8, and Y18 for the yellows, and B12, B14, and B18 for the blues.  I also used cool grays for the accents.

Because the stamped images have those crisp black lines, I wanted to make sure the stenciled letters and numbers were balanced, so I added some doodles around them.

The stamped images were then fussy cut and popped up over my stenciled panel.

I chose a sentiment from the XL Student Greetings set which was also popped up.

That's all for me today.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you are enjoying STAMPtember as much as I am!

Monday, September 4, 2023

August 2023 in Books

August started out with some great books, but went downhill.  Very mixed reading this month.  Here are the recaps:

The Great Reclamation - Rachel Heng - historical fiction - five stars - This was a great book.  It's the story of Ah Boon, from a small fishing village in Singapore.  His family struggles to survive until a hidden talent reveals itself.  He has a gift.  He's able to find hidden islands that bring abundant fishing, and he has a way with people too.  He is able to put people at ease, build consensus.  The story takes place just before WWII, goes through the Japanese occupation, and then the period after in which Singapore became a British colony.  Ah Boon strives to make the right decisions to care for and protect his friends, family, and community, but in the political turmoil of the times, the consequences of his actions create conflict.  I really enjoyed the characters and the difficulty of the times.  The kind of fantastical part about the appearing and disappearing islands I thought you didn't really need, but overall a really fantastic book.

The One and Only Ruby (The One and Only Ivan #3) - Katherine Applegate - juvenile fiction - five stars - I'm a huge fan of Applegate and this was another great book.  Ruby is the baby elephant that came to live with Ivan and Stella at the mall in the initial story.  This book picks up Ruby's story.  She's now part of a small herd of elephants who are good to her, but she doesn't quite feel part of the herd yet.  We learn about her backstory, her family and how she was captured.  And we watch as she grows to understand what family is.  Another winner.

The Weaver and the Witch Queen - Genevieve Gornichec - fiction - five stars - This is another mythical retelling (although the story is actually semi-historical as well).  I really enjoyed it, particularly because it's a story I wasn't familiar with because it's a Norse/Icelandic story.  The book covers Gunnhild's early life as an unloved daughter.  She runs away with sorceress to learn her trade, but keeps an eye her childhood friends and sworn sisters.  When their farm is attacked, Gunnhild tries to intervene, she's able to save one sister, but the other is taken.  She returns home, joining forces with a prince, whom she marries, in order to pursue her other friend.  There is a lot going on this book, several different story strands and I really loved how things came together.  Very well done.

The Quiet Tenant - Clemence Michallon - thriller - four stars - This was one I picked up off the new books shelf at the library on a whim.  It's about Rachel, who has been held prisoner for many years in Aidan Thomas' shed.  He kidnapped her and visits her almost nightly while his wife and child live in a house yards away.  Rachel also knows that he has murdered several other women.  Meanwhile Aidan is an upstanding, even beloved, community member.  But when Aidan's wife dies, and his in-laws want to sell the home that he and his family have been living in, he needs to relocate.  Rachel is able to convince Aidan to take her with him to their new home.  Rachel is biding her time, trying to stay alive until she can find a way to escape.  Meanwhile Aidan may have his sights set on another kill, and he is also dealing with a thirteen year old daughter who just lost her mother.  Good solid read.

The Hurricanes of Weakerville - Chris Rylander - juvenile fiction - four stars - This is one of Carina's favorite authors, so we were excited to see that he finally had another book out.  The Hurricanes of Weakerville are an independent league baseball team owned by Alex's grandfather.  They are terrible, but he loves them and the game of baseball.  When Alex's grandfather dies, he discovers that the team has only the rest of the season unless they can somehow make the playoffs.  Also, Alex is now the manager of the team, it's up to him to save the team.  This one was a bit of a slow start for me, but once it got going, I really enjoyed it.  The characters were fun, and it was just a good story.  Not as god as Rylander's other books, but still very good.

Queen of Exiles - Vanessa Riley - historical fiction - three stars - This one is probably slightly lower than three stars, but rounded up.  In general a big disappointment as I think the story could really have been much more compelling.  It's about Marie-Louise Christopher, the once queen of Haiti.  After rebelling against the French, Marie-Louise's husband Henry consolidates power and they are crowned king/queen of Haiti in 1810.  Their reign lasts just ten years.  During that time, they had worked hard to form alliances in Europe and the U.S.  When Henry is overthrown, Marie-Louise and her daughters flee to Britain.  It's such an interesting story, but the writing was really terrible.  When I looked into the author a little more, I learned that she also writes romance novels, and you could kind of see that in the story.  The text was just too much in that vein I felt like and Marie-Louise's character just never resonated with me. She seemed weak, self-centered, melodramatic.  Huge disappointment.

The Little Village of Book Lovers - Nina George - fiction - three stars - This was another disappointment.  I really enjoyed George's The Little Paris Bookshop, and in some ways this is pre-cursor to that.  In that book, the bookshop was created based on the proprietor reading a story about a woman with an amazing gift.  Based on reader requests, George decided to write that book.  It's the story of Marie-Jeanne who can see the marks of love on people - strings that connect them to their soulmates, etc.  Marie-Jeanne uses this ability to bring people together.  The premise is interesting, but the book was not.  It was very plodding with all these little excursions to discuss other stories/things that weren't particularly relevant and served to break up and fragment the story.  I feel like it would have been a great short story, but in trying to make it a book it lost focus.  Another disappointment.

Favorite this month was The Weaver and the Witch Queen.  Least favorite was probably Queen of Exiles.  I'm currently reading The Bird Tattoo which is good, but disturbing, and I have a whole stack of books on tap including a couple from Ellie's 11th grade English class that I'm hoping to read alongside her.  Please do share what you've been reading!