Thursday, October 19, 2017

Simple Birthday Cards

It's always fun (and immensely satisfying) when a large, fun sentiment can carry a card, with just a bit of embellishment arranged in a pleasing visual triangle.

In fact, these cards are so quick and easy, it's also fun to experiment with different color schemes. The blue card uses stars as accents...without any bling at all. I like it.

The warm, happy orange and yellow version has sparkles with bling.

Guess which one I prefer?

Bling all the way, baby! Plus, those sparkle stamps seem to have more energy than the stars, but that could just be my imagination.

Which do you prefer?

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Papertrey
ink: Hero Arts ombre
paper: Papertrey
accessories: rhinestones

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Blessing for the Week

The Blessings set from Hero Arts is small, with a lovely word die I just had to have, you know, now that I have a CuttleBug.

Thanks again, Eva!

Anyway, here's an awesome way to let the word die cut shine simply.

The background colors come courtesy of Tim Holtz distress inks in seedless preserves and milled lavender. Don't they blend beautifully?!?! The water spots give the color an ethereal effect that works with the blessings sentiment.

The water spot effect is one of my favorite things about distress inks. It's dreamy!

Last night, I didn't get a chance to post because we went to my younger son's band concert. Oh, my goodness! It was amazing. Our high school music program is outstanding. Please understand that we are NOT a musical family. Neither George nor I can carry a tune, and while we listen to music frequently (mostly classic rock from '70s, Jimmy Buffett, James Taylor, and such, and plenty of easy-listening jazz), we aren't knowledgeable at all.

When Jack came to us at the end of fifth grade and said he wanted to play the trumpet, we were floored. Jack has autism and has never showed the least interest in extracurricular activities other than A Day out with Thomas the Tank Engine. He's now in his fourth year of band and takes a weekly private lesson to supplement. He's not a prodigy, but he certainly has fun!

So my blessing for the week is seeing Jack on stage blowing his horn in harmony with the high school concert band.

What's your blessing for the week?

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: none
ink: Distress milled lavender, seedless preserves
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: inking tools, Hero Arts Blessings die, glue pen, paint brush (for water spots)

Monday, October 16, 2017

An Experiment with Spritzing Proves the Rule

Okay, so it's time to come clear on the subject of spritzing. I love inking up a stamp, spritzing it with water, and seeing a lovely watercolor effect with absolutely no skill or artistic ability on my part.

Pump, pump the spritzer bottle, and MAGIC!

For years, however, Hero Arts inks have disappointed me with this technique.

The results have been blotchy and speckled and diseased-looking rather than pretty and blendy and watery. I'm not sure what it is about these inks. They are permanent dye inks, like Memento, but while Memento inks respond well to spritzing, Hero Arts inks simply don't. At least for me.

Which leads us to today's card, which uses Hero Arts autumn leaves ombre ink with some very old wood-mounted Hero Arts skeleton leaf stamps.

The first thing you might notice is how the maple leaf stamp appears more solid and a bit more watercolored, at least on its top half. The other leaf stamp has a stronger skeleton effect. As you can see, spritzing doesn't result in much blending of the inks on a skeleton stamp. You can see three clear lines on the top right image. I assure you I dabbed the stamp on the pad repeatedly to try to blend the colors. Those lines will blur as I get more use from the ombre ink pad...this was its first use.

Check out the close-up below, and if you can enlarge it on your screen, please do. You'll notice that the inks on both images appear blotchy, as if the pigments clumped together on the stamps. The top half of the maple leaf doesn't look too bad, but the bottom half looks sort of diseased. This has been my experience with all the Hero Arts dye inks for a very long time.

Now, given its diseased look, it's strange that I really like this card. At least most of the leaves look mottled, which makes the effect look more deliberate than accidental. The color blending will get better over time, so that doesn't concern me, either. In real life, autumn leaves are disintegrating anyway, so to me, the look doesn't come off as too unnatural.

This proves the rule, however, that we stampers simply cannot have too many different inks.

The Hero Arts ombre inks aren't ideal for spritzing, and while Memento inks do work great with spritzing, they don't come in spectrum pads. The Kaleidacolor spectrum pad inks generally work great with water.

My previous two posts prove that Hero Arts ombre inks can produce delightful results as well, and so they, too, have value, even if not so much for watercolor effects.

So we NEED Kaleidacolor and Hero Arts ombre inks both. Right?

I can justify any new purchase with enough twisted logic. It's a gift.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts leaves, Papertrey sentiment
ink: Hero Arts ombre ink autumn leaves
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, water spritz bottle

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Festive Gradient Sentiment

While experimenting with my Hero Arts ombre inks, I decided to use the red gradient for a Christmas sentiment. Since the sentiment is so wide, I opted for a 6.25" by 3.5" card.

The breathing room created by the wide, low card worked perfectly.

Coordinating envelope from Marco's because life's too short
to make envelopes.
This blessings sentiment from Hero Arts is so versatile. There are other words to go with it to fit all sorts of occasions, so it's not a set that stores conveniently in any one category. But I've always been a sucker for Christmas blessings sentiments, so I had to have it. You'll see me use the coordinating die on a non-Christmas card coming up. Some sets make me extremely happy. This is one of them.

And some ink pads make me extremely happy. The ombre pads certainly do.

It bothers me that I can't put the accent on ombre. Sadly, my laptop keyboard number key pad has a malfunctioning zero key, so I have to live accentless.

First-world problems.

I'll focus on that delightful gradient on the sentiment. So festive!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts Stamp and Cut Blessings, Papertrey Mistletoe and Holly, random holly for envelope
ink: Hero Arts ombre red, Impress Fresh Ink mojito
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dimensionals, envelope, red Smooch for berries on envelope

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Hero Arts Ombre Inks...I'm Lovin' Them

Before we get to the ombre inks, let's talk about yesterday's post. First of all, thanks for your comments and emails! They proved my point because opinions were all over the place. That's awesome!

I was, however, shocked that so many of you objected to the red sentiment. It never even occurred to me to change the red because I liked the font in red so much. The energy of it worked for me, and I wanted some contrast to the serene blues for added interest, and as it's a Christmas card, red made sense to me. Plus, the red and green seemed the perfect Christmas pairing on the second card. Clearly, I was in the minority on liking the red sentiment!

I do totally agree with several of you that the harmony of the blue card would be enhanced by a black sentiment.

Those little present dies are too cute to stop playing with; I may well revisit that design and do some of the tinkering you suggested. I'd like to do some shading on the boxes or some ombre effect with the Copics as well. Thanks so much for sharing your opinions.  That was fun!

Now, for the Hero Arts ombre inks.

Here's my selection of the inks. And if you're thinking that one upside-down pad doesn't bother me, you haven't been reading Simplicity for very long, now, have you? Ugh. But things around here have been pretty crazy lately, and letting little mistakes slide is therapeutic, Right?

If I keep saying that out loud, maybe I'll believe it.

One day.


Anyway, these inks are a lot of fun, but they do have some limitations, and not all my experiments have turned out like I wanted. I'll share several of them over the next few days, so you can see how these inks work for me. If you've experimented with them and have different results, I'd love to hear what you have to say about them.

To blend ink on these spectrum pads, press your stamp into the pad repeatedly, making slight adjustments up or down so the edges between the colors blend and blur. The more you use these pads, the better: ink will transfer to the the adjacent colors and soften the lines between them for future inking. In essence, these pads are good for overcoming the obsessive neat freak in me. The messier they are, the better they work.

If only my house were like that.

Today's card is my hands-down favorite of the recent batch of cards I made using these inks. All that blue makes me so very happy.

To make the card, I repeatedly stamped a branch from Papertrey's Turning a New Leaf set (a classic I will never part with!). Each image was made with a freshly cleaned and inked stamp since I had to keep rotating the stamp to fill the panel. That indigo blue on the bottom was so vivid that the vellum was perfect for the sentiment...the ink shines through beautifully.

The bling darkens on the way down as well.

I attached the vellum by folding it around the edges of the panel and adhering it on the back. That way, it floats above the background in a dreamy sort of way. Then, the panel was attached to craft foam for a bit of dimension. Just lovely!

And that's all I have to say about that.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Papertrey Turning a New Leaf, Keep It Simple Thinking of You
paper: Papertrey white, vellum
ink: Hero Arts ombre sky to indigo, Archival black
accessories: rhinestones, tape runner (for adhering the vellum to the back of the panel), craft foam, glue

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Color Transformation and an Informal Poll

Today's pair of cards shows just how powerful color choices can be.

First up, I made this card using a coordinating die for the Hero Arts Christmas List set and my favorite colors of Copic markers. It's a nice card, but a little issue niggled at my design sense.

Note how loose and fun the sentiment is. That font isn't serene and the color scheme of the presents. The niggle came from a slight misfit of color, so I brightened things up with four happy, fun shades of green tending toward yellow.

The fun, bright colors fit with the sentiment perfectly now!

So why do I still like the first card better? Well, I love the energy of the lime and apple greens, but those serene blues fill my heart with peace. I crave calm and serenity in a busy, high-energy world.

May I remind you I live with two teenage boys? Oh, yeah. I crave calm. 

I think it would be fun to hear your input on this. Color has a powerful pull on our emotions, Few people are neutral in their opinions about colors. (May I remind you of StampinUp's orchid opulence, or as I like to call it, fairy vomit?)

So which of the two color schemes appeals to you most? Why? What other color scheme would you like to see with this design? (The theme is Christmas, of course, but I enjoy non-traditional color schemes!)

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts Christmas List
ink: Memento black, Archival red geranium
paper: Papertrey white; StampinUp Baja breeze; random lime green
accessories: die, dimensionals, Copic markers

Monday, October 9, 2017

Sometimes a Thing Doesn't Work; Sometimes a Slightly Different Thing Does

While poking around on Pinterest, I saw several cards with gold embossing and watercolor, and felt inspired.

Sometimes, a thing doesn't work. 

Note how this gold-embossed image appears blotchy, messy, unkempt. The addition of watercolor did not help. It dried rather anemic looking. Urgh.

Sometimes, a slightly different thing does work.

After seeing how the natural, shaded holly stamp didn't work with the gold embossing, I flexed to a different set with cleaner images and a larger sentiment. Much better!

I've never figured out how to get perfectly smooth embossing, as both cards show. But this one at least looks tidy and allows the watercolor variations in shading to enhance the flowers. Those gold half-beads help, too.

If one thing doesn't work, try a slightly different thing.

You might score!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Fail Card
stamps: Hero Arts
ink: VersaMark
paper: watercolor paper, Papertrey white
accessories: Peerless Watercolors, brush, extra fine gold embossing powder, Embossing Buddy, heat gun

Win Card
stamps: Simon Says Stamp For to Us
ink: VersaMark
paper: watercolor paper, Papertrey white
accessories: Peerless Watercolors, brush, extra fine gold embossing powder, Embossing Buddy, heat gun, Prisma gold metallic marker, ruler, gold half-beads

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Simplicity with Die Cut

While not all my experiments with my new dies have yielded successful cards, today's card is one of my favorites, if only because it's so very, very simple.

card size 4 7/8" x 3.5"
standard small envelope from Marco's paper

At first, I tried the die cut of mistletoe on a standard A2 card, but it looked a little lost on all that white space. The scale worked perfectly on this smaller card.

To color the image, which is stamped in black, I pulled out my PrismaColor pencils. The berries are accented with Wink of Stella though it's hard to see in the photo. I stamped the image again on the envelope but left it uncolored there. To see the good stuff, you've got to open the envelope!

The Wink of Stella on the berries is very sparkly in real life!

That little satin bow took a while to figure out. I tried natural twine, red DMC floss, white embroidery floss, red satin, and finally white satin. The white satin reinforced the white berries with its color and its shimmer.

If anyone says simple cards are easy, whack them on the head with a skein of embroidery thread. 

A large skein.

Reader merryf asked me about my envelope line stamp. It's from Simon Says Stamp Envelope Sentiments. I keep it permanently on my craft desk, mounted on an old acrylic block I don't like (edges are too sharp for frequent use). I decorate coordinating envelopes more often having that stamp ready at hand.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and simplicity,

stamps: Hero Arts Vintage Christmas Post
ink: Archival black
paper: Papertrey
accessories: die, PrismaColor pencils, dimensionals, satin ribbon, glue

Friday, October 6, 2017

An Unexpected Break

It's been a heck of a week. I'm fine but exhausted and very much in need of a break.

Back next week, hopefully refreshed and with some fun new cards to share.

In the meantime, here are a couple of dog pictures to make you smile.

Sorry this one is a little out of focus. It's hard
to shoot a constantly moving target!

Daisy is more dignified and focused, LOL!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Nostalgic Cardinal and Puppy Pictures

The cardinal die for Hero Arts Vintage Christmas Post set makes my heart happy. Here's the second card I made with it.

Looking at the card on my computer screen, I wonder how it would look if the branch were in front of the cardinal's feet. It has a stuck-on appearance that isn't ideal. But I'm having so much fun feeling my way into using die cuts! And that cardinal is just so gosh darn gorgeous wherever he is.

The banner isn't a die cut...I made my own. The banner dies I have are very small, and I wanted to use the wide real estate of this card.

These long cards are not very big...just 6.25" x 3.5". The envelopes are a standard business envelope available at Marco's Paper. Sue C. asked if they take standard postage, and the answer is yes. It's a nice variation on the standard A2 card, and it's lovely not to have to make envelopes to fit them.

And now for a Cooper update.

"Why do I need baths?"

He's getting so big!

Flop ears and gravity lip

Bright eyed and looking for trouble

Our pre-wash cycle

Those ears are hugely perfect
Whenever the world seems like too scary or unhappy a place, look at sleepy puppy pictures. It's hard to be sad looking at that kind of peaceful cuteness.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts Vintage Christmas Post, Papertrey Keep It Simple Christmas
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Memento black, Hero Arts field greens
accessories: envelope, dimensionals, Hero Arts dies

Monday, October 2, 2017

With Sympathy for Our Nation


So much hurting.

My plan had been to post some Cooper pictures today, but instead, I'm going to save that for tomorrow and post a sympathy card for our nation. My sincere condolences to the family and friends of those who lost their lives at the concert in Las Vegas; my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the shooter (who are baffled and confused and hurting); my sincere prayers for healing for the hundreds injured in body and the thousands injured in mind because of this unspeakable, insane horror.

May God's peace that passes understanding and His amazing grace and love surround us and lift us and comfort us. And may each one of us be open to His love and care...and share it in a hurting world.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Grandma's Cardinal

My grandmother loved flowers and birds, and she cultivated relationships with both. Her green thumb was the stuff of legend, and she used flowers and bird feeders to attract birds to her large dining room window, where she would sit, binoculars in hand and a bird guide nearby for those rare times she saw something she couldn't immediately identify.

Her favorite bird by far was the state bird of North Carolina, the cardinal. When I started stamping, it was perfectly natural for me to make a cardinal card every Christmas just for Grandma. After she died, I still made cardinal cards but sent them to my aunt or mom. They love them.

The cardinal stamp in Hero Arts' Vintage Christmas Postage set is simply delightful, and now that I have the die set, it's opening up LOTS of ideas for cardinal-themed Christmas this one.

The branch was stamped on the card base, but the cardinal was stamped and colored on a scrap, die cut, and mounted on the branch. To mount it, I put dimensionals on the top and glue on its feet, thinking that would add dimension yet ground the bird on the branch.

It wasn't my intention to use a banner on the card, but when I stuck the bird down, its little feet were NOT on the branch but floating in space. Glue is forgiving in placement, but dimensionals are not. The poor placement bothered me so much, I had to cover the feet up. Hence, the banner, which provides a handy ground for the bird.

There are no mistakes. Only opportunities for embellishment!

The card makes me miss Grandma and smile at the same time.

Do you ever use particular themes on Christmas cards for particular people? Please share in the comments!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts Vintage Christmas Post, StampinUp sentiment
ink: Memento black, Hero Arts green fields and red royal
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dies (Hero Arts and StampinUp), dimensionals

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Freshening up the Old Style

Using layered square punches with alphabet stamps goes waaaaaay back, and these two punches are among my oldest. But as it's a look that goes so well with my style, I decided to freshen it up with a new shape to the card, a timeless font, and a fun letter substitution for the O.

Card Size 6.25" x 3.5"

Combining a scallop square with a straight-line square also adds a fresh twist.

My first order of dies came this week, and I'm having so much fun playing with them. But my old stand-by punches aren't going anywhere. This card is proof that they still work beautifully!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts alphabet, Papertrey Winterberry ornament
ink: Hero Arts red royal, green
paper: Papertrey white, StampinUp real red
accessories: rhinestone, scallop square punch, square punch

Thursday, September 28, 2017

When a Font Unifies

Papertrey's Star Scribbles set has a fun swirl stamp that is PERFECT with one of the birthday sentiments from Birthday Bash Sentiments.


I love all the energy and swirls on this card! The Hero Arts ombre mermaid ink pad adds interest as well.

It's just awesome when a font goes so well with images!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Papertrey Star Scribbles, Birthday Bash Sentiments
ink: Hero Arts ombre mermaid
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: craft foam

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Cake and Flowers

As a clean-and-simple stamper, I have learned that the simplest layouts provide abundant opportunities for variation, and I often challenge myself to make two or three cards that look really different (colors, techniques, themes) but are essentially--from a design point of view--the same.

Sometimes, only one of the variations is blog-worthy, but today, I want to share two cards that both make my CAS-lovin' heart go pitter patter. (Note: My sister has asked me to make her a bunch of cards to have on hand for Christmas. She wants most of them to be birthday, so you'll be seeing lots of birthday cards over the next few weeks!)

First up, bold and fun! The cake is colored with Copics, with just a bit of shading. Note that it's a small cake and coloring it doesn't take much time at all. The candles are accented with orange Stickles for a bit of sparkle. The stamped panel is matted simply because the cute image and sentiment didn't need elaborate matting. That strong color keeps the eye right on the focal point.

Next up, a softly feminine card. The flowers (from Gina K) were inked with markers, spritzed with water, and stamped. Crystal Stickles accents the flower centers. The soft and pretty focal point begged for more elaborate matting than the cake did, so I used 1/16", 3/8", and 1/16" mats for a dressier look.

Note how wildly different these two cards are despite all the similarities. Both use Stickles, have the same layout, have mats, allow lots of white space. But one is feminine, the other whimsical; one is bold and bright, the other soft and dreamy; one has the focal point entirely on the panel, the other disappears off the bottom edge.

By the way, from a purely design standpoint, the floral card is better. The cake is floating, which is generally frowned upon by design sticklers. I debated adding a table but decided to leave it as is...there's not enough space. A little shading under the cake plate might help, though. My sister has three children who get invited to birthday parties...I figured this card would go to a little boy who wouldn't care one way or the other!

Why not take a layout you like and try to create very different looks for it? It's lots of fun, and you never know where it will take you!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Gina K, StampinUp
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Memento black
accessories: Stickles, Copics, Memento markers, water spritzer

Monday, September 25, 2017

Simple Christmas

Every year, I experiment with non-traditional colors for Christmas cards. This experimentation arises from the fact that I make well over 100 Christmas cards a year, most of which are one-offs rather than multiples.

That's a lot of different designs, and doing everything up in red and green gets pretty boring after a while. 

So a black-and-white Christmas makes sense to me, at least as an experiment. You, however, might find it a bit odd. That's okay. I did, too, until I made these three cards.

If you visit my Pinterest board titled Christmas, you'll see a number of pins that have black-and-white designs for Christmas, sometimes with kraft thrown in as well. Those pins collectively inspired this set of three cards that use images from Hero Arts' Vintage Wishes set. I adore this layout of small stamped panels on a card base. There's something so satisfying for me in the minimalism of one image, one sentiment, and tons of white space.

Vintage sets like this one are always a challenge for clean-and-simple stampers like myself. They invite layers and coloring and distressing and embellishment...and can result in incredibly rich, beautiful, and nostalgic cards.  Consider this nearly black-and-white beauty I found on Pinterest. Oh, my! It's stunningly fabulous, and everything about it is perfect!

While I have no ambition to make such a layered and embellished card as Melissa's, it did occur to me that I could get more mileage from this set (and several others) if I had the dies to coordinate. So my first order of dies has been placed, and I await it with eagerness.

What are your favorite new Christmas sets this year? I've been looking but haven't bought more Christmas stamps, seeing as I have so many. But I'd love to see what you're buying. Tempt me, please!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts Vintage Wishes
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Archival black
accessories: craft foam, glue

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Color Blending with the MISTI

Stamping big block stamps is tricky business. It's just too easy to get an incomplete image...perhaps the center doesn't fully make contact with the paper. Perhaps you got more ink on one side of the image than the other. Whatever happens, large inked areas don't always leave the best impressions.

Hence, the MISTI.

This handy device allows you to re-ink and re-stamp the image until you get it as inked as you need it to be. So when I stamped this leaf in Archival vermilion and got this imperfect image, I wasn't concerned.

But I was hoping for a more orange-red than the vermilion ink gave me, so I wondered if stamping another color over the vermilion would work. I chose Ancient Page henna, and one more impression gave this image.

Better, but still not perfect. So I tried again with the henna.

Still not smooth, but I rather liked the gradient and decided to quit there. After stamping the leaf veins, I masked the leaf, added some splatters courtesy of Papertrey's Grunge Me, and hit a wall. After deciding there was no good place to put a sentiment that wouldn't throw off the balance, I trimmed the panel down to a square panel, mounted it on a 4.25" square card, and declared it finished.

This brilliant red leaf is stunning! The color is incredibly vibrant and rich.

So if you're using a MISTI and decide to change colors, try blending them. Easy peasy!

And once again, I thank my friend Tina S. for giving me the MISTI.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and autumn,

stamps: Papertrey Grunge Me, Hero Arts Color Layering Fall Leaves
ink: Ancient Page henna; Archival saffron, vermilion; Hero Arts cup o' Joe
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: craft foam, glue, MISTI

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Lazy Girl's Coloring Method

Y'all, last week I was bragging to a friend about how patient I am with the puppy. And I am. Truly. I'm as surprised as anyone, but there it is, me being all calm and patient like a grown-up.

At least until Friday, when he did #2 not once but twice in his crate, covering the inside of it and the outside of himself with filth, and also went #2 not once but twice on carpet. The cleaning! The laundry! The wretched smell!

Unbelievably, he's still alive.

Note the disassembled crate. I had to do that TWICE. So many screws.
Cooper is still wet from his second bath of the day.

The vet told me to shift him to large-breed puppy food, and apparently I moved a little too fast. Poor pup. Poor me.

So after weeks of ahh-ing over impossibly cute Cooper pictures, those of you who were thinking it's time to get a puppy are now happy to continue living vicariously through me. Because people, it's not all cute sleeping puppies and puppy breath. Not by a longshot.

"Poop happens. Let's play!"

Tuckered from so many baths.

Let's talk about stamping.

Now, in case you're new to this blog and haven't picked up on it yet, Simplicity is about, well, simplicity. Coloring intricate, detailed images isn't simple. Or fast. And I'm basically lazy.

So here's an idea for creating interest in a trice: color a simple background on a scrap of paper using three shades of Copic markers, stamp images in black, punch or cut out, and assemble on a card.

Easy peasy.

Can you imagine coloring nine of these tiny squares separately? Perhaps you've done it and might even have found it relaxing. Good for you! I'm not so patient as all that. My patience only extends to adorable puppies who are still alive because of it. There's none left over for time-consuming coloring.

Papertrey's Quilter's Sampler set is truly perfect for creating comforting quilt cards for sympathy or get well themes. And a gradient of purple is soothing.

Simplicity and sympathy go hand in hand, don't they?

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Papertrey Stamper's Sampler, Gina K sentiment
ink: Archival black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: 3/4" square punch

Friday, September 22, 2017

Embellished Elegance Three Ways

Thanks for all the responses to yesterday's post. There's no real consensus, except that many of you wondered if the busyness would go away if the text background were in a lighter gray. Others wondered if putting fewer stems on the middle panel would fix the problem. I suspect both are correct. Lighter text and fewer stems would definitely make the card more "LateBlossom."

But it's fun to stretch and pull yourself creatively every now and then, and that's what yesterday's card did for me. Despite my mixed feelings about the result, the process was fun!

And now for today's sympathetic triumvirate.

Embellished Elegance is a pretty set from Papertrey, and being in need of a number of sympathy cards for my own use, I decided to experiment with the set. How many different looks could I get out of the set for sympathy cards in one sitting?

Turns out, the answer is the same as the number of licks to get to the center of a tootsie pop.


First, pink and green, with a little bling.  The sentiment comes from Gina K. The frame of vines is lovely, symmetrical, and a bit like a hug.

Next, an autumnal border of olive and orange, with a little white-on-white layering. This sentiment is from Papertrey.

Finally, my favorite. Soft blue-green ink, bling, and my favorite sentiment for sympathy cards (also from Papertrey). The soft, natural background adds interest without being overwhelming.

If you're looking for a challenge this weekend, try pulling out an older set you've not used in a while and make three different cards. It was fun going for three very different looks!

To close, can anyone tell me why the little boy in the tootsie pop commercial appears to be naked? That's a puzzler.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,