Thursday, May 25, 2017

Blue Skies Ahead

Hey everyone!  I'm digging into my stack of new and unloved products today, and having a great time doing so!

I got this water drop cover plate from Papertrey Ink at least a year ago.  I love the design and just haven't had a chance to use it until now.  I don't have many cover plates that take up the full card front as opposed to leaving a bit of a mat behind, but I love the look of it.

I wanted to create the look of rain dripping down a window.  To do this, I cut a piece of watercolor paper slightly larger than the cover plate.  Then, using three shades of blue Dylusions Ink Spray, I painted the paper using a drip technique.  Holding the paper upright at an angle, I wet the paper at the top with my paintbrush using a lot of water so that when I then added the ink spray (again using a paintbrush), it created drips that traveled down the length of the paper.  I worked in stages going down the panel, wetting a bit more of the paper and then adding more color until the panel was complete.

After the panel dried, I decided it was a little bit too soft for my liking - that's because the watercolor paper allowed the drips to kind of melt into each other during the drying process, so I went back and did another layer, but this time without as much water - just some to get the drips going, and then I fussed with it a bit making sure that the colors were balanced across the panel.  This time I used the heat gun to dry the panel so I could preserve some of those hard lines.

Once the panel was dry, I cut it with the cover plate and adhered it to my card base.  I wanted to use some of the rain drop pieces, but didn't want to inlay them.  Instead, I randomly adhered some with foam adhesive, slightly offset from the raindrop openings, but I took care not to use the actual drop that went in that particular opening in order to have some additional contrast.  I also added a bit of white and slate gray splatter to give it some extra texture and to soften and break up the blue a bit.

I wanted the background to be the star, so I didn't want to cover it up too much, but I also needed something that could hold it's own against it.  I settled for this umbrella from Ellen Hutson's Bear Ware set which I colored with Copics.  The sentiment is from an old/retired Kelly Purkey set for Simon Says Stamp.

That's all for me today.  Thanks for stopping by!

*Affiliate Links Below

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Birthday / Blogiversary Giveaway

Hey everyone!  I've got a couple things to celebrate in the next few weeks.  My birthday is next week (Wednesday), and my blog will be six years old in June.  So I thought a giveaway was in order.

I really appreciate those of you who follow, regularly read the blog and leave comments, and this is my way of saying thank you.

So what are you playing for?  A $50 gift certificate to Neat & Tangled!

This is a giveaway for my followers, so leave a comment to let me know how you follow: feedly, bloglovin, email, etc.

For an extra entry, follow me on IG (@mprantner), and be sure to head over there as well as I've got a giveaway happening on IG too.

You have until May 31st to enter to win, and I'll announce a winner on the 1st.

Good luck and thanks again for all your support!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Art Deco + Mondo Peony

I've got a Neat & Tangled / Ellen Hutson mash up going on today.

I found another of these Mondo Peonies that I had colored (with Copics) way back in the craft room over the weekend and I thought that my Art Deco background would be the perfect backdrop for it.

The background in black and white really balances the boldness of the flower.  The embossed sentiment is from the Calathea set.

I love how easy this card is (once you color the flower, or find a colored flower that is).  I think it would be gorgeous with the background in a metallic finish and a softer more delicate flower as well.

Short and sweet today.  Come back tomorrow.  I've got something special planned ;)

*This post contains affiliate links for Neat & Tangled (in post text) and Ellen Hutson (below)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wish You Were Here

I'm delving into my supply of new and unloved items today.  In this case, they are new, but actually pretty old as I have had them for a while and haven't managed to pull them out until now.

First up, I pulled out a 3D embossing folder from WRMK.  These things are the coolest ever!  I just love the results, and this design in particular makes geometric loving me particularly happy.

I started rooting around for something to go with that embossed piece and found this old journaling card from a Studio Calico Documenter kit.  The geometric background and the color scheme fit perfectly.

Next, I needed a sentiment.  Originally, I was looking for a stamp, I wanted a bigger sentiment, but nothing was standing out.  I ended up way back in my bin of stamps/dies and found this old sentiment die from Simon Says Stamp.  This is a design from Kelly Purkey back when she was working with them.  

For a pop of color I added a little heart from Paper Smooches.  This little heart actually gets a lot of work at my house.  It comes in a set, but it's the perfect accent size and I find myself reaching for it often.

I added a white mat to my journaling card to help it stand out and popped it up over that embossed piece.

Super quick and easy, and a great guy card too.

*Affiliate Links Below

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

2016 in Books

One of the NSD challenges from Studio Calico was to scrap what you were reading, so I thought it was the perfect time to get this layout done.  This is the fourth year I've done a Year in Books layout (2015, 2014, 2013), and the third year I'm using October Afternoon's Public Library collection.  What can I say, it's the perfect collection to use, and I still have plenty, so you might see it again next year.

Anyway, I went with a grid style layout this year.  My book list is much larger than it's been in years past, 129, which is impressive, but over a quarter of those are juvenile fiction which is a much faster read than a regular book.

I have the full list of books (computer print out) in the envelope, and used the tags to document my favorites as well as the roll up of genres.

The tag I used is my Classic Tag 1 die from Neat & Tangled.  I love this size tag!  I accented the top row of tags with a stamp from an old Studio Calico documenter kit which I colored with Copics.

The alphas are Bella Blvd.  Once I had the tags in place, I accented the layout with some stickers from the Public Library Collection.  Oh how I miss OA!

That's all for me today, do you document what you read each year?  If so, please link me up below.  I'd love to see how you do it!

Also, just a reminder that the sale at Ellen Hutson goes through today, 20% off all in-stock items using code momsday17.  I broke down and put in an order for 'practical' stuff.  I needed a Copic refill, and added a few colors (in the orange category) that I'm missing as well.  It's an extra good deal on Copics since they are 25% off normally at Ellen, but with the extra 20% off the markers are now $4.80.  I also got some storage items and one splurge item (affiliate links):

Monday, May 15, 2017

Succulents and Alcohol

Hey guys, I'm over on the Neat & Tangled blog today sharing this card featuring the newly released Succulent Cover Plate.

This was really quick and easy to put together.  To create the background I used alcohol inks on photo paper.  I have a Canon Selphy, and I just use the individual sheets when I want to use alcohol inks on my cards.  This incorporated just two colors:  Sail Boat Blue and Citrus.

Playing with alcohol inks is like a box of never know what you're going to end up with, but usually it's pretty cool.  Basically, I eyeballed where the flowers were going to be and then put down some ink.  I did this kind of in a swirl, and then added the second color, mixing and adding a touch of color where I felt like it needed it.

Once I was happy with the panel, I was able to go ahead and complete the card as alcohol inks dry almost instantaneously.

I cut the cover plate from white cardstock, and kept just the webbing and the negative space pieces on the inside.  In terms of adhering, I just made sure to add adhesive to the inlaid pieces and the outlines and didn't worry about all those delicate inside lines.  Alcohol inks have a bit of tackiness to them when dried, so that helped, and I like a bit of extra dimension as well.

The sentiment is from Scandinavian Prints.

One more thing before you go.  In case you didn't know, There's a big sale going on over at Ellen Hutson that runs through tomorrow, 20% off everything in the store, just use code momsday17.

I've linked the products that I used in this card below, but my affiliate link is also in the sidebar.  Happy Shopping!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Happy Together

Hey everyone!  I'm back with another NSD layout.  I'm entering it into several challenges, but the impetus was a challenge at Big Picture Classes to somehow include a color wheel in your layout.

I'm adapting a technique I used for a card several years ago.  I love it because it is fast and easy, but packs a punch.  Basically, you lay down a scrap piece of cardstock, and spray some mist on your base, kind of over top of the scrap piece so you get a defined line.  Then you move the scrap piece to uncover some 'virgin' territory on your base and spray again, and repeat all the way around.  This allows the colors to do some blending and overlapping while still maintaining definition between colors.

I trimmed the sprayed piece of cardstock down, mounted it to some black cardstock, stitching it down for some extra texture and adhesion since the sprayed pieces was a bit warped.  A little bit of black splatter finished the background off.

Since the background is so bold and kind of the star of the show, I kept everything else pretty simple.  The photo is layered over a couple pieces of patterned paper.  The photo and top piece of paper were adhered together and popped up over the black and white piece in order to create a channel for an Elle's Studio tag that contains the journaling.  I added another tag from Elle's Studio at the bottom for a bit of balance, and the title in Black Thickers.

Bright and fun and fast, my kind of scrapbooking!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

(Grand) Mother's Day Dinner

I scrapbooked!  Actually it's not that bad, I've been scrapbooking semi-regularly of late.  I'm trying to finish up our vacation scrapbook from last year.  My goal is to have it done before we leave for vacation this summer.  I should be able to do it.  I'm about halfway through the trip right now.

Anyway, Saturday was National Scrapbook Day.  I love NSD because although I don't normally get to do a ton of scrapbooking on the actual day due to running kids all over the place, there are always lots of challenges and inspiration (and giveaways) to enter.  The good news is that several of the challenges give you a week or so to enter which is often a great jump-start for my scrapping.

This year I won't be able to get as many challenges done because I'm forcing myself to work in a vacation layout between challenge layouts, but here is my first challenge layout.

For this layout I pulled out a bunch of my Neat & Tangled dies.  The background was created using the largest of the dies from the Triangle Pattern Builder set.  I cut the triangles from white cardstock as well as a seriously old Teresa Collins print.  The patterned paper has a bit of texture to it which adds some extra dimension.  The triangles were arranged in a quilt pattern with some of the triangle pieces missing/blank.

Once the background was complete, I added the photos/mats.  The title was created using my Journaling Alpha and Number dies and adhesive foam.  I popped the title piece up so I could slip the tag (Classic Tag 1 from Neat & Tangled) which was cut from another piece of that Teresa Collins (Tell Your Story) collection behind it.

I'm linking this up with challenges at Studio Calico, Big Picture Classes and  Hoping to get a few more done before the challenges all close. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

April 2017 in Books

I'm back for a belated monthly book post.  April really and truly got away from me, and I didn't even remember that I forgot to do this post until I saw someone else post about their reading list for the month....

Anyway, April turned out to be a lot more adult vice Juvenile Fiction, and a lot of non-fiction as well, definitely heavier reading in turns of subject matter, and lighter in volume as a result.  Here are the details:

We Were the Lucky Ones - Georgia Hunter - non-fiction - 5 stars - This is the (true) story of a Jewish family from Poland who miraculously survived the Holocaust with their entire nuclear family intact.  The extended family suffered many losses, but it was amazing to read about the journey of each of the members, many of whom were separated and weren't able to find one another again until months after the war ended.  I can't recommend this one enough.

Swimming Across, A Memoir - Andrew S. Grove - biography - 4 stars - I think last month I might have mentioned that memoirs are not for me, but I went ahead and read this one.  It's about one of the founders of Intel, but doesn't talk about that part of his life at all, rather it's about growing up in Hungary during WWII and through the Hungarian revolution.  This was and wasn't easier to read.  It was in that it moved chronologically rather than skipping around to various memories/fragments, but Grove is not a writer, so the prose isn't the greatest, yet it's a really interesting story, and having visited Budapest a few years ago, I really enjoyed hearing about the places and history that we learned when we were there.

The Nazi Officer's Wife, How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust - Edith Hahn Beer - biography - 5 stars - Another great book WWII book, Edith lived in Vienna and managed to survive by fleeing into Germany (Munich) during the war.  She was helped by several friends along the way, and eventually married a German officer.  She did confess to him that she was Jewish prior to the marriage, and he married her anyway.  Before the war, she was studying to be a lawyer, and she was able to complete her degree afterwards and became a judge.  An amazing story of survival, kind of the psychiatry of surviving within the Reich, and the aftermath.

Cryptid Hunters - Roland Smith - Juvenile Fiction - 5 stars - This was the final Battle Book from Ellie's spring Battler (her team came in 3rd), and another great selection by our school librarian.  This is the same author who wrote the I, Q. series that I enjoyed so much from the last battle.  This was also Ellie's favorite book from this round and is the first in a series.  If you have boys, I highly recommend this series and author.  It's about twins, Grace and Marty, who are pulled out of boarding school after their parents die to live with an uncle they have never heard of.  He turns out to be an anthropologist who studies supposedly extinct animals.  Adventure ensues, and of course there's an ongoing thread/mystery that I'm assuming will tie through the whole series.

Martin the Warrior - Brian Jacques - Juvenile Fiction - 4 stars - Another book from the Redwall series focusing on Martin, who helped to found Redwall to begin with.  This is his origin story, how he became a warrior, what led him to Redwall to being with.

You Will Know Me - Megan Abbott - Fiction - 4 stars - I'm not sure what to do with this book.  It was very compelling, I enjoyed reading it, but it was also kind of annoying.  The people in it were annoying, the situation was annoying, I guess the whole gymnastics thing and how tied up the families were in it was annoying to me.  But I believe that's the way that community works.  I also just didn't care for how it ended up, but I'm kind of a justice person.  I like it when the right people go to jail and good triumphs.  Ambiguous endings never leave me satisfied.

Letters from Paris - Juliet Blackwell - Fiction - 4 stars - I had read her previous book (The Paris Key) and really enjoyed it, and I was looking for something a little quicker and easier after some of the other stuff I'd read this month.  It was another enjoyable book, Claire Broussard goes to Paris after her grandmother dies to try and solve a mystery, finds another mystery and love at the same time.  Quick, light, and easy.

I'll See You in Paris - Michelle Gable - Fiction - 4 stars - This was really interesting, it's the story of a young woman and her mother, but also of the later life of Gladys Spencer-Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, who was pretty crazy in her later days.  While the story about the modern day people was interesting, I was really more interested in the Duchess' life, and I'm thinking may need to do some more reading on her.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Neat & Tangled Release Day and Giveaway Winners!

Hey folks, the Neat & Tangled May release is now available in the store!  Here's a quick recap of my projects:

I have some winners to announce too!

Pam D wins the Art Deco Stamp Set

Sue LD wins the Swirly Twirly Stencil

Mrsfish02 wins the Succulent Cover Plate

Congratulations winners!  Please shoot me an email (mprantner at gmail dot com) with your mailing info and I'll get these sent right out to you.

And if you need to have something from the release, head on over to the store (affiliate link), it's all available now.  Thanks so much for your support and enthusiasm during the release!