Friday, February 23, 2024

SSS Splendor Fine Floral Stem and Neatly Knitted

  *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Today I'm sharing a Spring card featuring a couple of the new products from the Splendor release.

I started by using the Neatly Knitted embossing folder on a piece of green cardstock.  I really love the knit design and to make it stand out just a bit more, I very lightly inked the raised portions with white pigment ink using a blending brush.

Next up, the Fine Floral Stem die.  This was die cut from Glossy White cardstock.  One pass through creates the base piece as well as three flower accent pieces (which could be adhered directly over the die cut flowers or offset to create a fuller flower - which is what I did) and flower centers.

The die was colored using Copics.  This is the first time I've colored with Copics on glossy cardstock.  The ink dries very quickly, so you really have to work hard at the blending.

I used YG25, G24, and G28 for the stem/leaves, Y00 and Y11 for the petals, and Y08 and Y19 for the flower centers.

I thought about adding some embellishments, but decided to go with a more clean and simple look, so I just added a simple sentiment from my Plant Sentiments set to finish things off.

Thanks for visiting!  It's starting to get pretty warm here.  I'm thinking that Groundhog might have gotten it right this year!

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

SSS Splendor, Mixing and Matching Products

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Hi friends!  I've got a fun Easter card to share with you today featuring several products from the Simon Says Stamp Splendor release.

I started by spreading paste through my new Hippity Hoppity stencil over kraft cardstock.  The panel was then set aside to dry.

Next up, I stamped the large bunny from the Bunny Kisses set.  This is a four step bunny.  One stamp for the body, the second ear, ear and eye/nose details, and then the tail.  I stamped the body of the bunny with Flannel, but very lightly.  I actually used a blending brush to add color around the edges of the stamp, lightly tapering in as I wanted a very light coloring to the bunny.  I used Flannel for his second ear as well.

For the ear/face details and the tail, I used Cozy which is a more brown gray.

To add a little more depth and shading, I used colored pencils to accentuate the shaded areas a bit.  Once done, I fussy cut my bunny.

The grass was created using stamps from the Lots of Luck set.  These were stamped twice in Cabbage and Artichoke and then die cut.

The sentiment, also from Bunny Kisses, was white embossed on a strip of green cardstock.

Once I had all my pieces created, I simply adhered them to my card.  The stenciled panel was adhered directly to my card base, the grass pieces directly to my panel (using Sookwang tape), and the bunny and sentiment strip were popped up.

I really enjoy mixing and matching my supplies, so this was a fun one to put together, thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 16, 2024

SSS Splendor Release Blog Hop, Day 1

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Happy Friday!  Today I'm participating in a blog hop celebrating the Simon Says Stamp Splendor release!  You should have arrived here from my good friend Cheiron Brandon's blog. 

As with all good hops there are prizes to be won.  Simon is giving away a $25 credit to the store at every stop along the hop.  All you have to do to be entered to win is leave a comment on this post.  In addition, they have a fun promotion going on this weekend, you can receive the Margot Tile embossing folder pictured above free with any purchase of $25 or more this weekend using code MRGT.

OK, on to my cards.  Today I'm showing off my new Lucky You designs.  There is a stamp set with coordinating dies as well as a standalone set.  

This first set of cards was a two-fer and also features the previously released Linking Lucky Clovers die set.

I started out creating the card on the left.  I stamped and gold embossed the Lucky You sentiment on a panel of chartreuse cardstock.  Then, I die cut the Linking Lucky Clovers die several times from both a darker green and Gold Matte cardstock.  

I arranged the outline pieces in the darker green around my sentiment, adhering them, and then inlaying the clovers from the Gold Matte cardstock.  I love all the shine from the Gold Matte, but it was making the gold embossed sentiment look kind of dull, so I ended up adding the Lucky You die in Gold Matte as well.  This was adhered slightly offset from the embossed sentiment.  I really love the look and will be definitely doing this again with some of my other sentiments.

After I finished this card, I figured I would make a second since I had a full set of the opposite pieces used for the first card - the Gold Matte outlines and the dark green clovers.

To switch things up a bit, this time I oriented the card vertically and went with just the die cut sentiment to save some time.  The sentiment was adhered first, and then the other pieces were arranged around it. 

For this next card I wanted to feature one of the clover stamps from the Lucky You stamp set.  This was stamped many many times on a very light chartreuse cardstock in a darker green and then die cut.  

I then adhered these to a white panel with foam tape in a nice tight pattern.  You could definitely just stamp these to create the pattern, but I'm not great at stamping in straight lines, and I also really like the dimension that was created.

I used the Lucky You sentiment dies as well as a sentiment from the Lucky You stamp set.

Next up, I pulled out the previously released Shamrock background (one of my all time favorites).  

I started by inking up a panel using Cabbage at the Top, and Artichoke at the bottom.  Then I stamped the background using Artichoke at the top, and Kale at the bottom.

The sentiment was die cut from Gold Matte cardstock, and the shadow piece from white cardstock.  This was inked with Kale.  The sentiment pieces were adhered together and the popped up with foam tape.

A secondary sentiment, from the Lucky You stamp set was embossed in gold and the popped up as well.

Finally, a super quick and easy one layer card.  

Here I simply embossed the sentiment in gold on a piece of soft gray cardstock, and then embossed a second sentiment using Peeled Paint Distress Embossing Glaze.

So easy, but perfect for mailing and just a fun card that works for both girls and guys.

That's all I have to share today.  Your next stop on the hop is Dilay Nacar, and the full hop list is below in case you need it.  Don't forget to leave a comment here to be entered to win that $25 credit to the Simon store.  Good luck and happy hopping! 

Simon Says Stamp Blog
Nina-Marie Trapani
Caly Person
Jennifer McGuire
Suzy Plantamura
Amy Rysavy
Bibi Cameron
Debby Hughes
Lisa Addesa
Emily Midgett
Cheiron Brandon
Miriam Prantner
Dilay Nacar
Allison Frazier
Natasha Vacca

Thursday, February 15, 2024

SSS Splendor Release, Hippity Hoppity

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Hi Friends!  The Splendor release from Simon Says Stamp is now live in the store!

I've got a couple designs in this release, including the Hippity Hoppity stencil that I am featuring today.  I thought the stencil paired perfectly with the Hello There Animals set from last month's release (if you're interested in that set, check this link as at the time of this posting the stamps/dies were on sale for less than the price of the stamp itself).

This first card almost didn't happen because it was a bit of a mistake.  I meant to spread white embossing paste over kraft cardstock, but I wasn't paying attention and accidentally used translucent embossing paste.

I decided to give it a go, and thought I would attempt the opposite effect and apply white pigment ink to the kraft cardstock.  Unfortunately this didn't have enough contrast for me as kraft cardstock seems to really absorb white pigment ink.  I set the panel aside for a while, but kept coming back to it and decided to try applying dye ink over top of the pigment.  I used Princess at the top and Heather at the bottom, and was finally happy with the result.  I did use very very damp cloth to buff away residual ink on the translucent embossing paste.

Next up I stamped and colored a couple bunnies from the Hello There Animals set and fussy cut them. They were very lightly colored with my cool gray Copics.  Thee one on the left was adhered directly to my stenciled panel (I used Sookwang tape to  adhere it), and then popped the other one up with foam tape.

The Happy Easter sentiment was die cut from white adhesive foam and adhered directly to the stenciled piece as well.

For this next card, I placed the Hippity Hoppity stencil at an angle to my panel and inked it up with Lime at the Top, and Sea at the bottom.  After removing the stencil, I used those same colors to very softly add a bit of color to the white space as well.

This time my bunny was colored with brown Copics (E11, E13, E15).  Similar to my card from a couple of weeks ago, I extended his face down a bit on the right using a journaling pen so that I could place him on an angle.

The sentiment, from the Spring in My Step, set was stamped with Versa Claire black ink and the bunny was popped up with foam tape.

That's all for me today.  Be sure to head over to the Simon store to check out the full release.  I'll see you back here tomorrow for a blog hop!

Thursday, February 1, 2024

January 2024 in Books

This year's reading is off to a bit of a dubious start.  Overall January was kind of a disappointing reading month.  There were a couple of gems, but also several books that were very hard to get through and others that were pretty marginal.  Read on for the recaps;

Tom Lake - Ann Patchett - fiction - five stars - I loved The Dutch House, so I was excited to read this new book from Patchett.  The book takes place during COVID.  Lara and her husband have a cherry orchard in Michigan.  Her three girls return home due to the state of world affairs to help on the farm, and as part of their time together, Lara is recounting a relationship she had long ago with a famous actor....she was briefly an actress as well, and that's part of the story too.  I loved how the story tied into Lara's current story, there were several twists that I did not expect at all, and it was just a really good read.  

Falling into Place: A Story of Love, Poland, and the Making of a Travel Writer - Thomas Swick - memoir - two stars - Ugh.  This was such a disappointment.  I picked this up on a whim based on the description...a journalist falls in love with a Polish woman, moves to Poland, develops a love for that country, sees things, etc.  Sounded like it would be a really interesting read right?  It was more like one of those comedy movies, where all the funny parts are in the trailer and that's really all you need to see, the movie itself isn't worth the time.  This was a total slog, and I really struggled to finish.  I kept thinking it would get better, but it didn't.  First off, I don't even like this guy's writing, ironic that he is a journalist, he kept talking about how editors would critique his word choices and I kind of agreed with the editors.  He was not particularly likable, the love story was not a great love story.  Just not worth the time at all.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith - fiction - five stars - This was my classic pick for the month, and I really enjoyed it.  It's the story of Francie Nolan growing up in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.  Francie's family is poor, they scrimp and save and don't get ahead much, but they survive.  This wasn't a fast read with a real story arc.  It's just about life in the way Little House on the Praire is about the Ingalls' lives.  If you like that type of book, I think you'll like this one too.  There is good and bad and struggle and fairness and unfairness, but I really loved the character of Francie and how she persevered through it all.  Really enjoyed this one.

Amazing Grace Adams - Fran Littlewood - fiction - three stars - This was another big disappointment.  Grace Adams is basically having a mid-life crisis in the span of the day.  Her life is falling apart and she is walking across town to get to her daughter's 16th birthday part...the party she isn't supposed to go to because her daughter doesn't want her there.  They had a falling out and she is now living with her father.  As Grace walks, she thinks back over her life and what brought them to this place.  To me the mid-life crisis part and the trail of destruction that Grace leaves was unnecessary and kind of a distraction.  It was also annoying how the book seemed to focus on menopause as a cause for what was going on in Grace's life when there were definitely deeper issues.  This one I could have passed on.

The Fraud - Zadie Smith - historical fiction - three stars - This was another one where I just kept waiting for the book to get better and it never really did.  It's based on the life of William Ainsworth a British author from the late 1800s who was a contemporary of Dickens and many others.  The book is narrated from the point of view of Mrs. Touchet, Ainsworth's cousin and housekeeper.  Also woven into the narrative is the story of Roger Tichborne and the Ticheborne Trial.  Roger supposedly drowned in a sea wreck.  Years later he reappears in Australia and comes home, claiming an inheritance.  The British public are sharply divided as to whether Tichborne is actually who he says he is or a fraud.  The subject is widely debated.  To me, this was really two stories, I'm not sure why the author put them together, it seemed very disjointed.  The only really interesting part was the story of Andrew Bogle, who used to work for Tichborne's uncle and believes he is Roger.  At one point in the book, he relates to Mrs. Touchet his life story which was quite interesting.  Other than that, I could definitely leave this book.

The End of Drum-Time - Hanna Pylväinen - historical fiction - four stars - This one is really three and a half stars rounded up.  I have very mixed feelings about this book.  We have actually been to Sweden twice, and I have a great love for the country, so I very much enjoyed the book from that angle, learning about the Sami, their customs, how they moved reindeer back and forth going to the sea during the summer and coming south for the winter.  The story itself was for me a little too loose there are several threads that kind of show up and disappear at different points.  I found it kind of disorganized with a generally unsatisfactory ending.  Just OK.

Favorite this month as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn with Tom Lake a close second.  Least favorite was definitely Falling Into Place.  I'm hoping February is a better month.  I just started The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise which so far seems like it will be a fun palatte cleanser.  I'm super backed up with my library holds right now, so I need to get a move on with my reading!  What havec you guys been reading?

Thursday, January 25, 2024

C9 Big Hugs

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

A super quick card share today.  This one was made a while back, but I just haven't had a chance to share it.  It features the Big Hugs stencil set from Concord and 9th.  This is a set of four stencils that creates the coolest three dimensional looking sentiment.

I used a variety of pinks for my sentiment (apologies I managed to not write down which colors were used).  

I love the size of the sentiment and how all the layers make it kind of pop off the card.

To add a bit of texture and interest to the background, I used one of the stencils from Waffle Flower's Bokeh Stencil trio set.  It was selectively inked with Gold Delicata ink.

To play up that gold element, I added a Gold Matte mat.

That's all for me today!  Hope you guys are having a great week!

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

SSS Rainbow Splash Inks

 *This post contains affiliate links to Simon Says Stamp.

Like most of you, my appetite for inks is greater than my budget for inks.  I've been eyeing the Rainbow Splash inks since Simon released them last year, and I was finally able to pick them up this month.

There are 13 inks in the set.  I was looking for a quick and easy way to try out most of them, so I pulled out my Dimensional Rectangles stencils.  

There are four stencils in this set, and for each of these cards I used two colors for each layer.  One color was inked from the top left corder of my stencil diagonally across to the center area, and the other color (the darker one) was inked from the bottom right diagonally across to the center.

For the card on the left, I used the following color combinations:  Princess and Crimson, Pumpkin and Dandelion, Lime and Grass, and Lake and Heather.

This one came out a lot more colorful than I anticipated, but I love how bold it is.  To soften it a bit, I added some dark splatter and used a black card base.

The Chin Up die is one of my favorite new ones, and I die cut the sentiment itself from white cardstock and the shadow from black.  After adhering them together, they were popped up over my background with foam tape.

For the next card, I narrowed down the color families a little bit going with a lighter and darker shade of each color family.  I used Ballet and Princess, Canary and Dandelion, Lime and Grass, and Lake and Sea.

This time I used the pattern horizontally, added a black mat, and the Hugs and Kisses sentiment which was also popped up with foam tape.

This was a really fun way to take these new inks out for a spin.  There were two that I didn't get to use yet, Scarlet and Emerald, but I am sure they will be soon!