Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another Play Date

I guess I need to photograph my cards rather than scanning them. I don't want to hassle with it honestly. It means I have to clear my camera's memory so I don't reload my pictures. (A couple of weeks ago I deleted literally hundreds of duplicate photos from my PC!) But when the cards have dimension to them the scanner just doesn't do justice to how they look.

This is another card for The Play Date Cafe challenge. The colors are black and white with just a splash of red. My white IS pure white, it just looks yellow because of the scanner.

I cannot focus to write this. While I was finishing up my card we found the 2nd baby snake in 2 days in our house. I was not too terribly bothered when we found one, but two has me thinking that there must be a mother some place. Just when I thought I was getting used to things creeping around my house in things are slithering around! At the moment I am feeling like this year cannot pass quickly enough. I am SO ready to go back to the States where I do not have to be constantly on guard against things creeping, crawling, flying, jumping or SLITHERING through the room!


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Challenge: Color Throwdown #157

I am finding that there are a lot of card challenges in blog-land. They are great starting spots for inspiration. The one I chose to work with yesterday is on a blog titled "Color Throwdown", and they had a rather difficult combination in my opinion. Here are their chosen colors:

I pulled out the colors, except crumb cake which I do not own. I substituted Simply Suede because it's the closest thing I have. It occurred to me that this color combination might appear in Asian things and, since I have an Asian stamp set I've been itching to use, this might be the perfect time.

My original plan was to make a clean and simple card, so I stamped the girls and the Chinese lanterns onto one piece of white cardstock. After coloring the girls dresses with markers I stamped the lanterns onto various Asian papers that I've purchased here in Taiwan, and embossed them in gold. (The main reason for the embossing was so that I could see the images to cut. The papers are so busy that I didn't think I would be able to see regular ink!) I then cut out MANY lanterns before choosing which ones I liked best for this card. I ran them through my Xyron sticker maker, which was a life saver for attaching these little pieces!

After stamping, coloring, embossing and assembling, I decided it was time to add some background. Here things went horribly wrong. I created masks for the girls and the lanterns but when I stamped the background images everything just looked like a muddy mess. So I had to cut again. I cannot say how many times I cut lanterns yesterday, between embossed images for paper pieces, masks and then cutting the whole thing off of the original piece I am rather tired of Chinese lanterns!

It was necessary to rethink the background, so I turned to an extremely talented blogger, Michelle Zindorf, for inspiration. (See here if you're interested.) Try as I might, I cannot brayer on color like she does. I always end up with a hard edge. So I just look to her for guidance on colors and then I sponge them on. I wanted a look of glowing light around the lanterns and I knew Michelle would have the inspiration I needed. So here is my card:

And here is the inside:
This card will go to a dear friend who has a listening ear like no one else I know.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shabby at Last

I love the look of shabby chic, and I am trying to copy some fabulous cardmakers for whom that is their primary style. Here is my first try:

Flowers and pearls are sort of essentials for shabby chic. I picked up as many as I could while in the States, but I am sure I will run out of flowers long before I get back. I've never seen any here, although I will continue to keep my eyes open.

My card was inspired by this week's sketch at Our Creative Corner.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Not Too Shabby Baby Boy

I've just begun looking at "The Shabby Tea Room" for inspiration. This week their challenge is to use polka dots, which I happen to love. I especially love them for baby cards and, since I needed to make a baby card, I decided this would be a great week to play along with the Shabby designers.

For color inspiration, I turned again to The Play Date Cafe. This is my second card this week using their colors. I didn't want anything too soft and fluffy, since the baby is a boy, so I thought teal and brown would work great.

I must confess, as I was making this card I forgot that one of the inspiration blogs was The Shabby Tea Room, and so my card isn't "shabby" at all. (And I happen to love shabby.) Oh well... Here it is:

I hope you like it! More importantly, I hope the recipient likes it!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Evolution of a Card

Using colors from The Play Date Cafe and a sketch from Mojo Monday (as usual, on both counts) I made this card and thought it was okay:

After I scanned it I thought it was too plain. So I attached a ribbon around the circular opening using glue dots.

But that, I decided, looked really tacky. So I carefully took the ribbon off. All was well until the very last glue dot. I saw the damage happening but could not stop it.

So I covered it with a couple of flowers.

I don't love it, but it's okay. Still, just okay.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Viva la Verve August 2011 - 1

I am (only slightly) bummed. The inspiration for this card was, once again, Play Date Cafe. Except this is last weeks color challenge. I loved it (as usual) and went straight to work. But after I completed the card we left for a short vacation. I didn't get the card scanned into my computer and so couldn't put it here or enter it into Play Date's weekly contest. Darn it. On the other hand, for the layout I went to Viva la Verve's weekly layout and I have a month to enter cards into that challenge so I will put it there.

I love this card. I will be keeping it for myself. I made one with this same image and a different Bible verse a couple of years ago when I was going through a tough time. The Bible verse jumped out at me at that time and so I made it for myself. Now I think I will have a sort of series of these cards reminding me of how God cares for me through the years.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mojo 201

I've been having a great time playing in my stamp room. I am tempted to feel guilty about the amount of time I've spent stamping lately, but all of the cards have been necessary so... No guilt!

It's Wednesday but I used the Mojo Monday sketch for inspiration - again! Here is their sketch:

and here is my card:
My daughter needs to send out thank you notes for birthday gifts so I kept everything cute for this card. Pulled out some very OLD stamps and 1 brand new one.

Thanks for looking!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Inspired by Play Date

While looking at other entries in this weeks Play Date Cafe challenge I came across one that I thought would be a simple yet beautiful card to add to those I am making for my friend. The card I copied is here.

This is my first take on it. I like it, but I hand sewed the pink line and I thought that was a little too time consuming.

So next I made this one and I simply glued down the ribbon and a line of embroidery floss. Much simpler, but I didn't love the flowers.

Finally I tried this, and it was so quick and easy that I made 2. I think I am now ready to send out my cards. Well, I need to package them nicely first, but at least all of the cards are made. There are a couple more which I haven't shown yet but I will post them soon.

I don't know if it shows in the photo, but I drew in some dashed lines between the flowers - a sort of "chain stitch" to go with the sentiment. It is a very nice card and so quick and easy! Many thanks to Judy for the inspiration.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

200th Mojo

I haven't come CLOSE to making 200 cards for Mojo Monday but who's counting? Well, the people at Mojo Monday are, but they are counting how many challenges THEY have issued and this week marks number 200.

I would have liked to have produced a better card but this is what I made and, since I'm busy trying to produce many simple cards right now, I couldn't take the time to try again. Perhaps I will do better for 201...

I just want to show off some of the cards I am making for my friend.

Because I am trying to make a quantity of cards I am looking for simple cards. Today (very early this morning actually - jet lag!) I came up with this idea which I must say I LOVE:

As I am playing with ideas I have come up with cards that I like but which are not practical to produce en masse. This is one such card:

Two things about the poppy card: 1) It looks better in real life (I say that a lot.) 2) It was sort of a happy accident. I was trying to make a poppy garden but I didn't have any stem stamps that I liked. I tried drawing some by hand and ended up with a mess. However, I had a piece of vellum sitting nearby and held it over the poppies to see if they would look any better under vellum. Then I decided to stamp another poppy on the vellum, thereby hiding my awful stems. I think it looks a bit weird in this scanned image but in real life it really does look quite nice.

I will send the one-of-a-kind cards to my friend too and hope that she likes them. I have an idea for another simple card that I will make tomorrow. But for now it's off to bed!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Verve's Diva Dare

I found another challenge to inspire me: Verve's Diva Dare. This week their challenge is to use patterned papers and allow a sentiment to take center stage. I chose papers with pink intending to use this as the card I send to my friend who is fighting breast cancer. (see earlier post) I must also say that I copied many of the elements on my card from Andrea Ewen, another blogger whose cards I LOVE. You can see her beautiful card here.

While I was in the States I purchased Verve's entire July release because I knew they would be perfect to make thank you cards for my friend. This sentiment from their stamp set "New Mercies" was perfect for my friends card. I think this set will be seeing a LOT of ink in my home.


Challenge: PDCC91

I'm back from the States and stamping in the middle of the night thanks to jet lag!

I missed some wonderful color combinations at The Play Date Cafe. But I guess I can still use them for inspiration!

This weeks challenge is to use black and white with just a splash of any color you choose. I chose pink and here's why: while I was in the States I got the news that my friend with breast cancer learned she is stage 4. She has been told her cancer is not curable, just treatable. I don't like that diagnosis so am praying for a miracle. When I heard her diagnosis I tried to send her some flowers. Thankfully the florist I called was aware of limitations for chemo patients so told me I could not send flowers. As I looked for something else to send I thought about the fact that this friend has tons of friends who will undoubtedly be performing countless acts of kindness for her. I decided the best thing I could give her would be handmade cards which she can use to thank her many friends. With that in mind, in the coming days I will be making many cards as a gift for my friend. Here is my first:

The "L" in the sentiment reminded me of the pink ribbon used as the symbol for the fight against breast cancer. So I stamped the image with black ink, wiped the ink of the "l" and colored it with a pink marker. I expect someone will give my friend gifts of chocolate so I think this sentiment will work fine.

Here is the inside:

The inside doesn't stick to the black and white theme, but I think the front is the part which must fit with the challenge so this should be fine.
Thanks for looking!

Monday, June 20, 2011

More Color to Love

Another color combination for me to fall in love with at The Play Date Cafe. I had started this card with the orange stamping but was not sure what colors to add, so when PDC came out with orange, pink and blue - voila! I had the rest of the colors for my card!

This card will go to a friend who was just diagnosed with breast cancer. I hope the bright colors will cheer her up for a moment when she receives it.

Tomorrow I will be heading to the States for a month, so no more stamping for awhile. (Insert sad face here.) BUT, it will give me a chance to stock up on embellishments and adhesives - yeah! More importantly, I will spend a lot of time with my Dad who is still really grieving the loss of my Mom.

If anyone is reading - - thanks for stopping by!


Friday, June 10, 2011

The Play Date Cafe #85

When I checked The Play Date Cafe this week I thought I fell in love with their colors. As I scrolled through the card samples I felt a little disappointed because none of them seemed to sooth me with color as the board had done. I thought I wanted to see something saturated in the week's colors. As I pondered how I could do such a thing I realized that what I loved was not actually the colors so much (although they are lovely) as it was the color board itself. Each photo on the board shows something lovely and sometimes something evocative of warm memories. So I decided to try to make a little story board on a card, showing some of my favorite things. Here is what I came up with:

Here are the birds close up, because I think they look blurry on the photo of the whole card:

I hope to make another, entirely different card using these colors. I still think I would love a saturation of those colors but I don't know if it's possible to achieve it. I don't own any Dusty Rose (darn it) so I am using some other pinks that have a hint of gray in them. If my next card turns out nice I will post it.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Father's Day X 2

I had to make this card twice. I had just finished the first one (which I intended to send to my Dad) when my son came in, saw it, and claimed it for his own (to give to his Dad.) If I had said no he would have gotten upset, so I just let him have it knowing I could make another.

No great stamps for this card. I ordered a Father's Day set but, since it has to be shipped internationally, it hasn't arrived yet. Hopefully I can use it next year!


Surprised by Mojo!

I have a confession: When I first saw this weeks Mojo Monday sketch I didn't like it. At all. I thought I would skip this week, which would be no big deal since I'm not a regular anyhow. But then, for some reason, I thought I would just give it a try. And...SURPRISE...I love the card I made! So once again I have to thank the Mojo designers because this is something I never would have done without their inspiration.

Photo note: I usually scan my cards. However, tonight I accidentally sat something across the fan on my card and it wrecked what HAD BEEN a perfect fan. I'm sure the scanner would have flattened it completely. So I took regular photos which I think turned out just fine.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Play Date with Mojo Monday

For the first time I am participating in a challenge from "The Play Date Cafe". Their challenge is to use these colors:

I have combined that color challenge with a second card from this Mojo Monday sketch:

And here is my card:

I'm afraid it looks like I didn't know when to stop adding embellishments - it's a little busy. At the same time, I am a bit frustrated by the embellishments I am limited to. Living in Taiwan I do not have access to most of the beautiful things people are using stateside. BUT, I will be heading to the States in 2-1/2 weeks and plan to shop for embellishments while I'm there. I only hope they don't change too much in the next year, after I return to Taiwan.

I hope this isn't too busy for anyone who might be looking here.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Birthday Mojo

I really love this weeks Mojo Monday sketch. I think I will use this layout many times. Thanks, Mojo Divas!

This is also the first time I have ever "paper-pieced". Not sure why I haven't done it before. I see it on other peoples cards and think it is lovely. And I am very pleased with how mine turned out so will definitely do more of it.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Put Your Sunglasses On...

This is a very bright card; definitely not for those who like subtle colors!

I put it together following this week's Mojo Monday card, and I actually completed it before the deadline!

I am very thankful for the Mojo Monday blog. It gives me endless ideas for putting cards together.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Past Due Mojo

Every card I have made recently has been a sympathy card. Making sympathy cards is a new thing for me, but I guess I will be getting better at it. I've come to an age where people I know are losing parents. I have 2 friends who have lost parents to lung cancer in the last 5 months as well as others I know who are losing parents and other loved ones.

So here's my card:

I followed a Mojo Monday sketch for this card, but didn't get it done until after the deadline. Oh well, I like the card anyway.


Eembroidery Floss

I thought I would try some challenges beyond Mojo Monday so went to Our Creative Corner for ideas. Their challenge this week is to use embroidery floss - something I happen to have quite a lot of since I also embroider. Looking at the samples from their divas I can see I can and should get much more creative than I did - perhaps I will try again. But in the meantime, I cased this card from Sleepy in Seattle.

I had a lot of fun making this. I used water color pencils and the bleach stamping technique as well as my sewing machine and Xyron Creative Station (to laminate the bookmark).


Friday, April 15, 2011

Two in One!

Okay, so I should take better photos, but it's 11:00 p.m. and I need to get to bed! I actually made 2 cards today! First, the card for Mojo Monday:

(The reason I need a better photo is I need to straighten the bow at the top of the card.) I even pulled out my sewing machine and stitched on the card today - wow! First time since moving!

The next card was made because I wanted to play with my new Copic markers. I've begun buying them here because I THINK they're a tad cheaper than in the States. And I found the little pot they're in at the flower market. I love it!!

Today was a great day! Perfect weather, no obligations and stamping. Yeah!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Upside Down Mojo

I don't know why, but when I looked at this weeks Mojo Monday sketch I immediately thought of how I could use it upside down! My Dad's birthday is looming so I needed to get a card together. The scallops made me think of clouds so I decided to use hot air balloons in the clouds. My Dad is a pilot, though not a hot air balloon pilot (although he DID used to pilot a giant cow blimp for the Idaho Dairymen - sort of like a hot air balloon!) I guess my card is quite a departure from the sketch, but at least it gave me a great starting point. And after all isn't that what it's supposed to be about?


Friday, April 1, 2011

Easter Blessings

After weeks, MONTHS of trying to play along with Mojo Monday, a card I am truly proud of: When I saw the sketch I immediately thought of this cool die cut I bought in Taiwan. It is unique compared to what everyone in the States has and it is the perfect size for a round card.

I guess I varied a good bit from the sketch. I left off the top ribbon and my center is a circle rather than a square. Perhaps I will try another one because I truly love the sketch; this just seemed to work together.

Here is the inside:

And a close up because I really love it. I used paper that I had water colored, then stamped the sentiment over.
As usual, I want only to send this card to my Mom. Since that is not possible maybe I will just keep it. We'll see...