Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Waffle Flower Crafts Tile Panel Die

You all know that I love a great cover plate.  This Tile Panel Die designed by my friend JJ Bolton for Waffle Flower Crafts fits that bill.

I really love the design, there are so may different patterns you can create with the tiles, and the space within the design for a sentiment means you can throw a card together quickly without have to think too much about the layout itself.

Normally for these kinds of dies I like to go the colored cardstock route, but I was in a coloring mood.

I went with two color families - greens (G00, G02, G09) and grays (C3, C5, C7, C9) and colored the pieces with the darkest points towards the center of the diamonds so that while this is a very flat card, there's some dimension to it.

I ended up having to use four grays because my C3 started to run out of ink and I don't have a reinker for that one yet, so I had to go a shade darker for two sets of diamonds.  It worked out OK, because I put those darker pieces to work around the sentiment.  This helps zero your eyes in and add some emphasis to that focal point....crisis averted!

The sentiment is from Altenew's Leaf Canopy set.  I thought the modern/mod font matched perfectly with the design.

That's all for me today.  Thanks for visiting!

*Affiliate Links Below

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Courage for Neat & Tangled

Hi everyone!  I'm sharing this card over on the Neat & Tangled blog today.  It features my Wonky Chevron cover plate and Have Courage stamp set. 

I had been plotting this card in my head for a while now. I love how bold the Wonky Chevron cover can be, but I wanted to do something very soft and pretty with it.  However, when I was looking through my papers, I couldn't find soft enough colors (this is shocking because I have so.many.papers).  

My solution was to create them for myself.  I cut several panels of watercolor paper and then using Kuretake Gansai watercolors in a light blue, and yellow gold (from the Starry Colors set), added a very light, soft wash to them.  Once they were dry, I die cut the cover plate from them as well as a plain piece of watercolor paper.

I used the soft gold for the outline/webbing, and then inlaid blue and plain pieces within the cover.  The cover plate is just a smidge smaller than A2 which I like sometimes because you get a really nice fine mat when you mount it to a card base, but for this card I wanted just the cover to show, so I trimmed the card base down accordingly.

The gingko branch from the Have Courage set was stamped and clear embossed on watercolor paper, and then I colored it using a Distress Marker (Forest Moss) and water brush.  I added just a bit of color to the leaves with the brush side of the marker, and then softened and spread the pigment out using the waterbrush.  

I also added a very light light wash of color around the branches/stems so that the clear embossing would stand out a little better.  Once the piece was dry, I die cut it and popped it up over my cover plate with some foam adhesive.  The foam adhesive was added only towards the center of the piece because I like the movement you get from the leaves when they aren't fully adhered.  They curl up a bit and it looks more natural.

The sentiment is also from the Have Courage set.  The large sentiment was stamped in Versafine on watercolor paper and clear embossed (mostly so I wouldn't accidentally smudge it), and then I fussy cut it.  The secondary sentiment is stamped on a banner from the Skinny Strips die set which I die cut from a scrap of watercolor paper that I had colored/painted using that same distress marker and water brush.

I used two layers of the foam adhesive on the courage sentiment for some extra dimension.

Incidentally, the Have Courage set is part of the March Madness sale going on now through Saturday in the Neat & Tangled store.  Everything in the March Madness category in the store is 30% off with code MARCHMADNESS!

Thanks for visiting, hope your week is going well!

*Affiliate links below to Ellen Hutson and in text to Neat & Tangled

Friday, March 8, 2019

Neat & Tangled March Release in Review

It's release day at Neat & Tangled!  The March release is now available for sale in the store.  Here's a look back at my projects for this week:

This is such a cute release.  If you need any of those bunny sets for Easter don't wait because if they sell out you'll be cutting it close for Easter!  Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Neat & Tangled March Release - Day 4

Hey all!  It's Day 4 of the Neat & Tangled March release.  This month's release is a little smaller than normal, so we don't have a reveal for today, instead the team is offering up a bit more inspiration with today.  I decided I wanted to show off some more of the All the Bunnies set.  

For this card I random stamped the bunnies on a panel of white cardstock, and then added some eggs and carrots.  The carrots are from the previously released Cottontail Cuties set.  The images were colored with Copics, and then I filled up the remaining white space with Copic dots in three colors.  

The panel was trimmed down and I added a blue mat.  The sentiments are also from the All the Bunnies set and were popped up for a bit of dimension.

Now it's time to head over to the Neat & Tangled blog to check out some more inspiration from the team.

Simon Says Stamp Fresh Bloom Release

Hi friends!  There's a new release that just went live over at Simon Says Stamp called Fresh Blooms.

I received this adorable Peeking Bunny die to play with and put together a quick, clean and simple card.

I started by die cutting the piece three times on a panel of white cardstock, overlapping the circles each time.

Then, I placed another piece of white cardstock beneath it and lightly traced around the circles.  I also used the die cut on a piece of scrap cardstock and trimmed out the bunny head so I had a full circle that I could use as a mask.

I used my pencil marks to line up the mask and inked the three circles with three different shades of Distress Ink:  Shaded Lilac, Tumbled Glass, and Worn Lipstick.  

This inked piece was adhered to my card base and then I just popped up the panel with the bunny heads over it, slightly offset.

I finished things off with a sentiment from the new Neat & Tangled release (All the Bunnies) embossed on one of N&T's Skinny Strips dies which I trimmed off on one end.

That's all for me today.   Be sure to head over to Simon and check out the rest of the new release.  There are some really great items available, including a peeking chick!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Neat & Tangled March Release - Day 3

It's Day 3 of March release reveals at Neat & Tangled, and today we're showing off two new co-branded sets of stitching dies from Benzie.

I do love creating stitched pieces, but for today's card, I thought I would use paper.  I love how cacti have that kind of striped look, so that's what I was trying to recreate here.  I started by going through my pile of scraps and selecting a variety of greens.  Then I cut these into thin strips of random widths and adhered them to a scrap piece of what cardstock.  The cactus was then die cut from that piece.

I used the Stitched Slopes dies to create some sandy hills for my cactus to live in and added one pink flower (which is also part of the die set) for a pop of color.

The sentiment is from the Lovely Lotus set.

OK, it's time to head over to the Neat & Tangled blog to check out what the rest of the team created, and to enter to win today's featured products.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Neat & Tangled March Release - Day 2

Time for Day 2 of the Neat & Tangled March release!  We're showing off another new set from Elena today called All the Bunnies.  I love how unique and fun this set is.  That big bear masquerading as a bunny is too cute.

For my card, I stamped, colored, and die the the main image and then popped him up over a simple background created using the Squares and Chevrons cover plate which was cut using both white cardstock and a simple patterned paper. 

A little pink banner cut using one of the Skinny Strips dies with a simple sentiment from the All the Bunnies set finished things off.

Be sure to head over to the Neat & Tangled blog.  There are so many cute cards to see today and you can enter to win this set too!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Neat & Tangled March Release - Day 1

Hi friends!  Today is the first day of March release reveals over at Neat & Tangled.  Today we're showing off a new mini set from Elena called Eggciting.  It's such a fun image.  I love this little bunny trying to move that big old egg.  

My plan for this card was to partially die cut the image so that it was die cut around the top of the image, but still attached to the bottom of the panel.  Unfortunately, I'm apparently die cut challenged, so I did the exact opposite of what I had planned....I die cut the bottom of the image and the top was attached.  Oops.  Since my initial plan fell through, I went ahead and fully die cut the image and then colored it with Copics.  

Then I cut another panel and partially cut it the right way this time.  The original image was then adhered right over top of the partially die cut one so that I got the same effect.

I added a light peachy/pink patterned paper over the bottom of the panel, and then popped the entire thing up over another panel of darker pink paper that I had added a bit of tone on tone inking to using the Radiating Star stencil.

I finished the card off with the large sentiment from the Eggciting set which was stamped on one of the banners from the Skinny Strips set.

Head over to the N&T blog to see what the rest of the team created and to enter to win this set for yourself.

Friday, March 1, 2019

February 2019 in Books

A really good month of reading.  Some really fantastic books, epic stories as well as a couple very clever quicker reads.  Here's the recap:

The Children of Willesden Lane. Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Survival - Mona Golabek - biography - five stars - This one has been on my list to read for a while, and I'm so glad I finally got to it.  It's the story of the author's mother, Lisa Jura, who escaped Austria via the Kindertransport. She ends up living in a group home forming long lasting relationships with the other children there. She is a talented pianist who continues to work at her craft and pursue her dream in England, while hoping for the survival of her family members. So readable, and while the subject matter is serious this was one I handed right to Ellie when I was done.  She loves historical fiction and WWII, and loved it just as much as I did.

The Dinner List - Rebecca Serle - fiction - five stars - This was such an interesting premise.  Sabrina arrives to her 30th birthday dinner to find that the people there are all individuals she wrote down years ago on a piece of paper when asked to name five people, living or dead, that she wanted to have dinner with. It's a little bit of fantasy and a little bit of reality as Audrey Hepburn is there as well as others from her past and present. As they go through the discussion you find it's really a way of dealing with unresolved issues, hurts, etc. to allow her to move on, and the story moves between flashbacks and present day.  There were definitely some surprises, and I just loved the idea of this book too.

The Name of This Book Is Secret (Secret, #1) - Pseudonymous Bosch - juvenile fiction - four stars - I really want to at least try and keep up with some of Ellie's reading this year, so she's been setting aside books for me and I'm trying to work them in between library holds.  This was one she received for Christmas.  It's about a couple of kids who get involved in an adventure/mystery involving a bit of magic, the search for eternal youth, and a kidnapping.  I thought is was good, it held my attention, and Ellie loved it.  She sawed through the rest of the series already, I think there are six altogether, so I am waaaaay behind, but I will definitely finish them all eventually.

The Seamstress - Frances de Pontes Peebles - historical fiction - five stars - Another amazing book by Peebles (I read The Air You Breathe last month).  This one is also set in her native Brazil.  I do love a good epic saga that spans generations. T his one is really only one generation, but so well done.  It follows the lives of two sisters who are separated, one escapes her small town and marries a well-to-do man from the city, the other joins a band of Robin Hoods who simultaneously terrorize and aid those in the backcountry. In an era and a country in which women had very little power and sway, this story tells how both sisters overcame those stereotypes.  There is a lot of sadness in the story, but also hope.  Very much hoping she is working on a third novel!

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed - A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings - Michelle Knight - autobiography - four stars - I picked this one up on a whim at the library remembering watching the events unfold when Michelle and the two other women were found at Ariel Castro's home back in 2013. Michelle did not have an easy life, and she recounts her life before her abduction as well as while she was there.  It's a horrific story.  I did want to know some more about what she is doing now, I feel a little left hanging by the book, and the writing could definitely have used a bit more editing which is why it's just a four instead of a five.

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy (Harold Fry, #2) - Rachel Joyce - fiction - four stars - I read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry last year and happened to see this book at the library this month.  I had no idea there was a sequel, but I loved the original book, so I immediately plonked this one in my bag.  I loved it.  It was a sweet retelling of Queenie's side of the story - how she ended up in Harold's town to begin with, got her job, and why she did what she did and felt she owed Harold.  She is writing him her story as he walks to see her so that he'll know the truth about his son.  That retelling is interspersed with present day scenes of her hospice facility, interactions with the rest of the patients and the caregivers.  There is a lot of death and sadness, but also joy.  This was such a great book, but I gave it a four because I absolutely hated the ending and have to say that I felt a little cheated by it.

The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog - Adam Gidwitz - juvenile fiction - five stars - This is another book Ellie got for Christmas and it is so good.  It's the story of three children and a dog who are thrown together.  There is a bit of fantasy and whimsy, but also grounded in history.  The tale is told by a series of narrators who meet at a pub and each have a bit of the story to tell until you get to the final piece of the story which is told in real time.  Highly enjoyable with really wonderful illustrations as well. Ellie and both loved this and will be trying out some more from this author.

Washington Black - Esi Edugyan - historical fiction - five stars - I loved this one  Washington Black is a slave on a plantation in Barbados who is befriended by the brother of the new master.  They end up fleeing the plantation together, both seeking freedom.  They are eventually separated and Washington goes on to make his own way, ending up in Canada and then going to Europe.  A fantastic story with engaging characters and some surprises as well.  Highly recommend.

The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers - Maxwell King - biography - four stars - There's so much to love about Mr. Rogers.  This book was quite exhaustive detailing his childhood, education, and the creation of his show.  It really got into the nitty gritty philosophy behind the shows, the steps he took, etc. etc.  I enjoyed it, but it was definitely detailed, and really focused on his professional life/work.  There was a lot about his childhood, but when it came to his own family/raising his kids/marriage, not a lot of details other than a few anecdotes.  I did appreciate the different stories sprinkled throughout the book that told about him and interactions people had with him, they helped to break up the detail about how the shows were formulated, etc.  It was definitely worth reading, but was a bit drier than I though it would be. 

Next up for me I needed a bit of a palate cleanser, so I'm reading Mary Kay Andrews' The High Tide Club right now.  In my up next pile are The President's Club, Black Dove White Raven, Codename Villanelle, The Girl They Left Behind, and Nine Continents.  I hope you'll share what you've been reading and if there's something I must add to my list.  Have a great weekend!