Monday, June 20, 2011

Nature's Chef

 The summer solstice is fast approaching, and yet the season has just begun here. The golden days of summer slip through our fingers faster than our youth.
Fripon, on the chaise longue, and Rascal, sunbathing, take advantage of every moment of these lazy days. I follow their example and spend as much time as possible outdoors. Breakfast on my balcony is a special treat in summer. There's a special quiet in the morning, a morning peace, broken only by birdsong, and, occasionally, the garbage truck.
I dug out a poem I wrote in the days when I was almost as young as morning:

Nature’s Chef

Summer takes each
Fresh new day and
Toasts it golden brown,
Then cools it
With the breath of night,
Serves it on platters
Of memory.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Butterflies and Helicopters

Yesterday, from my balcony, I witnessed the takeoff of hundreds of little "helicopters"; the winged seeds of the maple trees that flank my balcony. Every time a gust of wind shook the trees, whirling, dancing seeds took off to find welcoming earth to settle into.
I had recently watched a documentary on Monarch Butterflies, who winter in Mexico, and migrate in groups of thousands, making a journey seemingly impossible for such delicate creatures. The seedlings, too, are delicate, and not all land in a nurturing place.
If such fragile creatures dare impossible journeys with no visible help or encouragement, what can I not accomplish with friends, family and faith to support me!

The project in these pictures is one I've been at least a couple of years getting to. I used a kit from CardKeepers which I covered with cs and stamped images. Now I don't risk having the cards I've received in trade or as RAKs get damaged. Having them easily on hand means I've got another source of inspiration.
Whatever you do today, I wish you success.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Asian Squares and Oriental Darlings

It's 64F this morning, and another sunny, near-windless day is announcing itself. Cliché or not, mornings, especially beautiful ones, always make me feel as if anything is possible. What I failed at, or failed to do yesterday can be a triumph today.
A sparrow just alighted on my window tree and chirped at me! Possibilities, possibilities! If I could bottle mornings to inhale in moments of discouragement...!
This card was inspired by a great CSDesigns challenge at Papercraft Planet, Darlings of the Orient. Chris Stern of CSD is celebrating the launch of her latest digi stamps, Asian Squares, and challenges us to use any square--or squared--Asian image as the focal point of an art project. Take a look at what members of the design team have come up with:
My Oriental Darling is Stampington's Puccini's Muse, and she's stamped in SU Cranberry Crisp. If you saw my last two posts, you know I'm on a Cranberry roll!
The little butterflies are from CSDesigns digital stamp collection, Itty Bitties Butterflies, and are watercolored with Sparkling H2Os by Lumenarte. The sentiment is also a CSD digital stamp. I love combining digital with material stamps!
I hope your morning is off to as great a start as mine, whatever the weather.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Craft Stamper Designer's Choice 2

It's a glorious morning here, and I'm taking a mid-morning coffee break with a friend in a couple of hours, so this day is beginning very well, indeed!
Yesterday, I posted a card with colors based on the "Designer's Palette" in the May issue of Craft Stamper magazine. Before you ask, no, I don't get a commission, free stamps or anything else from the magazine for mentioning it; I just like to give credit where credit is due, and also, perhaps point others to creative ideas. The palette in the article was burgundy, cream and coffee. I didn't have any burgundy ink pads, so I used SU Cranberry Crisp. I used Cocoa from Color Box and SU Very Vanilla for the other two inks and liked the combination so much that I've made another card using the same color theme. The cs is SU Very Vanilla and Close to Cocoa. The lovely Geisha is Stampington's The Calligraphy Robe. The calligraphy sentiments are SU, from Kanji and Dream Garden. The ribbon is also SU, but I can't think of the name right now, and probably never will.
The Geisha and I wish for you a day filled with tranquility, harmony, love and creative dreams.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Each day, a little beauty...

The French sentiment on this card, translated, is; "Each day, life offers a little beauty." Sometimes, we have to look hard to find that beauty, and this rainy, windy, and cool spring and summer do challenge me to look hard!
The idea for this card came from the May 2011 issue of the British publication, Craft Stamper. There's always a small, free clear stamp attached to the cover, and inside, examples of art made using the free stamp. The magazine is offering a free, down-loadable e-zine; check it out here:
It was mainly the color combo and the bird stamp used on the sample card which inspired me. The article, "Designer's Palette," called for burgundy pigment ink and "coffee colored dotted embossed cs". I got out my SU Cranberry Crisp dye pad and my Color Box Cocoa pigment pad for the stamps, and used SU Very Vanilla cs with no layers.  I also used a scrap of SU Close to Cocoa to layer the sentiment.
The bird and eggs are from the SU Nature Walk set, and the sentiment is taken from SU Sérénité. The background stamp is SU French Script. I loaded the bird and egg stamps with VersaMark and  Cranberry Crisp, embossed with clear ep, then overstamped with the French Script in Cocoa.
Hope you find this adds a bit of beauty to your day.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"I Know why the caged bird sings"

 This card uses the Technique Junkies Telescoping Card technique. The base cs--dark blue here--is supposed to be scalloped, but I don't have a scalloped-edge or other large circle die, so I used a Fiskars Circle template. The stamps are from the SU set Nature Walk. The sentiment is computer-generated. I took the quote from a Maya Angelou poem. The cage and bird suggested the quote.  My bird has slipped his cage.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

3D Embellishment

This card is a response to the 3D117 challenge on Papercraft Planet here:

The cs is SU Regal Rose, the embossing envelope is SU Manhattan Flower and the butterfly is the same one used on the Solitaire Mysterious Butterfly card in a previous post. It's made by Stamps Happen. I colored it with Sparkling H2Os. The face on the butterfly's wings makes it one of my favorite stamps.
I think I'll get out more buttefly stamps for more of these 3D embellishments; they offer so many possibilities!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Mystery and Illusion

I made this ATC for the CS Designs challenge, Mystery of Imagination, on Papercraft Planet, here:
The butterfly stamp is a favorite, and the masked face beneath it is a CSDesigns digi stamp, Solitaire, Mysterious Butterfly. The sentiment is also a CSD digi stamp. Solitaire is colored with Sparkling H2Os.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Balloons, Balloons!

The stamp and cs on this card are from the Gina K Stamp TV set, Vintage Chic. I used Gina K's card--video how-to here: to inspire my version. The ink is SU Lovely Lilac. The designer bg was originally white and black; I used the direct to paper technique with SU Lovely Lilac to color it. I didn't have the Sakura Stardust pens Gina sparkled her image with, so I used glue and glitter for the white part of the dress and balloons.

The second card is an ATC. I used the same Vintage Chic image, with the same colors as the House Mouse beach card in the previous post.

Have a great day, and happy crafting!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Two Challenges with One Card

This card answers the CST Weekly Challenge #4 to use these colors or an aproximation of them: Regal Rose, Wild Wasabi, Tempting Turquoise, Early Espresso, and white.  
It also fits the "Make a summer card" challenge on the Creative Cuttlebuggers site. To me, a lake, the St. Lawrence River or the sea are perfect places for a summer vacation. 
The stamp is House Mouse Catchin' the Rays.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Acrylic Emboss

These cards were made with the Acrylic Emboss technique, from Technique Junkies' "Emboss or Die CD",  which can be purchased here:

Sunday, June 05, 2011

More Faux Tiles

I just had to do another Faux Tiles card! The background image is the companion to the FT1 stamp from QuikArt. Foreground image is Small Face Frame by Hampton Art Stamps. Ink use: SU Pacific Point and Lovely Lilac.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Faux Tiles

This card, uses the Faux Tiles technique from the Technique Junkies Newsletter.The card base is SU Marigold Morning, the cs for image and background layer are SU Whisper White. The bg stamp is  QuikArt #9858, which is a collage stamp. The ink is SU River Rock and Marigold Morning.