Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Spring Day at Last



 Now today was more like a spring day! Finally!.....and what a change from yesterday! And tomorrow it could get as high as 17C (62F) by the afternoon – but it comes at a price – thunderstorms and rain! We decided to take advantage of the nice day to go visit Joe’s widowed aunt-in-law who lives almost an hour and a half from us. She is 84 and recently moved into a nursing home and loves it there. She has a wicked sense of humour we just adore her….although her short term memory is starting to be a problem now and again. After we left her we stopped for a Chinese supper at a buffet we’ve been at before and enjoyed. Nice day!!!

So, this is the last of the Easter cards I made this year…and made with another new Penny Black stamp.


All the cards I’ve posted this week are experiment cards using various techniques….some I like more than others…..some need work! However these were all going to some ladies from our church that are in a nursing home and they are not all that fussy and I knew they would enjoy them. This one is one of my favourites of the new stamps. I do believe that this one was inked with various Distress inks. You get a different look with each kind of medium you use. Once again I splattered some red and green ink over it. Distress Ink Tumbled Glass was sponged on for the sky and Peeled Paint for the grass.

That’s all for a Wednesday,

Cheers
Violet

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cruel Mother Nature


Mother Nature is cruel or is going through some very serious personal issues and taking it out on us…. because this is what we woke up today........





 
Yes, Snow! Lots of it….well at least an inch or two! See the clumps on the clothesline – that means it was also freezing rain before the snow came. Just yesterday Joe said, “Finally! All the snow is melted even where it was piled up from the driveway!” Now its back! Its 2:30 in the afternoon and I just came back from visiting and dropping off the cards for the residents at the nursing home and the snow is still on the lawns so it’s not melting as fast as I would.
 
Okay, enough complaining about the weather. Here are the next two Easter cards I made with one of my new Penny Black stamps.
 

 The top card was first inked with Versamark ink  and stamped on plain white cardstock and then I ran chalk over the image and the chalk stuck to the Versamark ink. It’s a very soft look for sure. Then I splattered it with drops of red and green ink. That’s some very shiny silk thread wrapped around it. I found it in my drawer from when I used to make string art cards and thought it would work nicely on this card too. You may be seeing more of that kind of thread now that I've rediscovered it.
 
The bottom card was inked up with Tombow markers, misted and stamped on plain white cardstock. The birds are very vivid doing it this way. It would have blended better if I had stamped it on hot press water colour paper but I didn’t have any….but its okay. The recipient loved it so that’s what counts.  More splatters of ink and wrapping of the silk thread and it was done.

I’ve had fun playing with my new stamps although there were some failures for sure….but that’s all part of the learning curve. I have one more new stamp to showcase tomorrow.

That’s all for a snowy Tuesday

 
Cheers

Violet

 

 

 

Monday, March 30, 2015

New Stamps!!!!



Another cold windy weekend and unfortunately my brain disorders did not like the weather and were still acting up. Yesterday my speech was so bad it was absolutely hilarious. Joe was having trouble understanding me and he’s usually pretty good at deciphering what I’m saying….he has had 15 years of doing so though. I think the best way to describe my speech was a drunken Southerner with a very bad speech impediment plus the last word in a sentence came out with about 30 extra syllables….even a 3 word sentence. So weird. I had just a bit too much pain as well to be able to sew again so I’m glad I have other quiet hobbies to do on these days.

 It’s been so cold it’s more like fall days instead of spring days (although a little warmer today and we actually got out for a walk) and I didn’t leave the house over the weekend except for Saturday when I made a quick trip to The Paper Pickle and the library…which is a block away from the Pickle. It was a very quick trip but while I was waiting to get a butterfly die they had ordered in for me, I started walking around the store…..bad idea, very bad. I knew they had just got a huge supply of new Penny Black stamps and as I was in a “treat yourself” mood I happened to pick up 3 new stamps. These are the new solid stamps and I seldom use them…because I don’t own many…and I decided I was in the mood to experiment so home with me they came.

I decided to make the ladies from our church that I visit at a nearby nursing home Easter cards using the new stamps. Here’s the first two.



This is a very large stamp. I did one lighter than the other just to see which one I like the best…I’m not sure which one wins as I don’t’ mind either one of them….but I think in this case, maybe the dark one by just a bit. Both were stamped first with Distress Ink but for the darker one I added extra colour with a Tombow marker. They were misted lightly and then stamped. The lighter one was very light so I rubbed some Distress Ink Mustard seed in the inside for a little variation. Both were splattered with both Stampin’ Up Raspberry Ink and some green ink. These were just stamped on plain white cardstock. I need to get some new hot press water colour paper. I only have cold press and I do use it but you can’t get a very sharp transfer with a stamp on it. 

 That’s all for another cool Monday


Cheers
Violet


Friday, March 27, 2015

Scrappy Quilts



Another day of snow flurries – not as much as yesterday but still, snow is snow and we’ve had more than enough of it. There was a dusting of snow, or as one of my quilting friend calls it – about 4 snowflakes deep – this morning but it quickly melted even though we had, and are still seeing, snowflakes fluttering down all day. Unfortunately this change in atmospheric pressure set off the brain disorders in the middle of the night so today was a non-quilting day. I didn’t think I could take the noise of the sewing machine today so it was a quiet morning……..I read for awhile and then we watched American Idol – we pretty much tape everything to avoid having to watch commercials…bad I know – and this afternoon I did our Income Taxes…..which was nice to get them done and over with.  I buy the Quick Tax program so I don’t have to do any math or calculations – I just have to type in the figures where they belong and it does the rest……so much quicker and much more accurate. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get back to quilting…..I have my good sewing machine down in the lower studio where I usually craft because there was no room to manoeuvre the large quilt in the small upper studio and I have a small sewing machine (I won this one and I take it the church when we meet to make quilts for kids with cancer) in the upper studio and I’ve been working on a small quilt I’m donating to our local SPCA there. Not sure what I’ll do tonight….maybe just a nice hot shower and read.

I just realized I did not post a picture of the last two quilts I made – for two of my sons-in-law. All of the girls and their hubbies like scrappy quilts so that’s what I made them. Here are they are.
 
 Joey’s quilt is very wild and scrappy. I think it’s a bit too much for me but he loves it.
 

Austin’s quilt is not as scrappy as some as I kept it all in brown tones. I hope I made this one big enough for him...he's about 6'3" or more and looks like a giant viking - but has the heart of gold.
 
That’s all for a cold, snow flurry Thursday

 Cheers
Violet

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Winter's Back....and a New Stamp!



We woke up to more snow this morning! AAAAGGHHHHH!!! Enough already! I swear this is going to be known as the winter that never ends! Okay, it was gone by noon but still……grrrrr…. The only good thing about it snowing today is that a lot of people stayed in this morning and we got all our errands done in no time. Today was the first day out of the house since the weekend – talk about home bodies! It was just too cold, wet and dreary to want to leave a nice warm house……..besides I have a quilt that needs to be finished.

Today’s card is one I made with one of the new stamps from Stamping Bella and I’m entering it into the challenge over at http://seizethebirthday.blogspot.com.



I coloured this image with Prismacolor pencils and blended with gamsol when I was down with that horrible virus I had but just got around to finishing it. I rubbed chalk with a cotton ball around her for the sky and brown for dirt. I like a soft subtle background and I find chalk works the best.

This looks like a complicated card but it was very easy to put together. I backed the image on yellow cardstock to pick up the colour of the scooter; and then backed that with the marbled hot pink cardstock which matches her skirt; and then glued the entire thing to the white card base. After that it as so easy to just add those peel-off flowers (thrift store find) to the lower left and one blossom to the top right to balance the card and added the peel-off sentiment. Love this card! Perfect for a teenage girl; collage student or young adult.

That’s all for a snowy; wet; dreary Thursday

Cheers
Violet

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A dull, wet, and dreary day.....with a card



I’m happy to report that the freezing rain did not amount to much here today. There was some ice forming on our tree in the front yard but not much…..rain we did get. I was supposed to go to Windsor today for my annual appointment with the periodontist but the weather report was still warning of freezing rain so I cancelled it until June…..much less chance of weather so bad we can’t travel in June. Chatham could use their own periodontist as the one in Windsor told me he thinks half his patients are from Chatham but so far, we don’t have one. Overall, it was a dull, wet and dreary day and I'm glad I stayed inside.

I spent the day quilting on the quilt I made for my daughter. I’ll be so glad to get this one done and I hope I remember not to make such a large quilt again.

Today’s card is one my friend Jane saw and really liked….in fact she liked it so much she took a photo of it for a reference…..so I thought it was time I posted it. If you a follower of my blog (I know it says I only have 29 followers but according to the stats I get over 1,000 hits each month so I guess a lot of people view it without actually signing on….which is fine by me) …anyway, if you read my blog you will know by now that I love to experiment and I seldom follow sketches. I’m more of a “Gee I wonder if that will work?” kind of crafter.



So, for this card I took a piece of white cardstock and rubbed various Distress Inks around it and then took a burnt rust stamp pad and dragged it across the card letting it hit just here and there; and then I rubbed it along the edges, smudging some areas more than others. The same stamp pad was used to stamp the fancy label (HOTP) and the sentiment. I took a left over piece of scrap cardstock which was the same colour, but darker, than what was used on the label and sentiment and I die cut the butterfly. The filigree wings were left white and once it was all assembled I glued it to the corner of the label. (this is funny….the grammar checker just advised me that the “I” before the word “glued” should be “me” instead of “I”…..so it would read, “me glued it??”? What age group created this spell and grammar check …a 3 year old maybe???) Sorry, I just had to share that.....…it cracked me up. Once everything was assembled and dry I glued it to a white card base.

Oh well, that’s all from a cracked up Wednesday, March-25-15

Cheers
Violet

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Nautical Embossing Folder



A very cold day here once again and tonight and tomorrow there could be freezing rain. If you are from the south you probably have never had this but it happens when it rains and the temperature is right around 0C (32F). If it dips below the freezing mark it freezes as it hits the ground, trees, or anything else. It’s deadly when it hits the pavement because it just looks wet but is very slippery. Hope the temperature stays above freezing and it just rains.

Today was a very productive day. I got a lot done on the quilt that I’m quilting but it is far from finished. This is a very large quilt…72x80 I think….way too big to easily be quilted on my domestic sewing machine but I cannot afford to have them quilted by someone with a long-arm – it would be almost $300.00 likely. My shoulders are a bit stiff and sore from pulling the quilt through the throat of the machine over and over and over. I definitely got an upper body workout today!

Last week I mentioned stopping in at the Paper Angel scrapbook store in Blenheim…..just to look around, not to buy…..but bought a few things anyway……and one of them was an nautical embossing folder. I couldn’t wait to try it out so I used my window die and made another thinking of you card.

I embossed a piece of chocolate brown cardstock and glued it to the card base. The window frame was die cut and then I sponged brown ink around the edges. The windows have a sheet of plastic (from a package) behind them which doesn’t show in the photo but in real life it really makes a difference. The background photo is from a note card and I have no idea where I got this box of note cards from but seeing as I don’t send out store bought note cards I thought I may as well use them in my own cards. Bakers twine was wrapped around the window frame and then I tied a tag (Cuttlebug die) to it. The sentiment is a peel-off and it started out gold but it was too bright and shiny for the card so while it was still on the package I ran a dark brown alcohol pen over it to dull it. That really works well. Then I hot glued the window frame to the embossed cardstock. I used hot glue this time because I didn’t think the window frame would stick well on the embossed areas with just regular glue. The inside simply says, “Wishing you better days ahead” so it could be for someone ill or going through some other personal crisis.

That’s all for a cold Tuesday’
  
Cheers
Violet

Monday, March 23, 2015

Teenage Boy Cards



 Well we had a wonderful weekend – with a bit of a surprise thrown in! We decided on Saturday to buy tickets for a concert in Sarnia that night. We seldom ever buy tickets ahead of time in case we cannot go and we seldom find events sold out….it has happened, but not often. We also decided to just spend the night there as Joe does not really like driving at night anymore and we haven’t been anywhere all winter. So, off we went and when we got to Sarnia…via the river road….I spotted an odd looking duck in the St. Clair River. He stopped and I got out to take a picture of it…..and I’m glad I did…..it turns out to be a Long-tailed duck which are not normally seen in this area. Here is a picture of it.


So after checking into the motel and a delicious Chinese dinner we headed over to the theatre and enjoyed some wonderful singers and musicians singing Country and Western duos from the oldies, like Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash to the current singers like Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. We enjoy a wide variety of music and we’ve heard the lead female singer before so we knew we would enjoy it.

Seeing the duck was not the surprise I spoke of…..it was waking up to a snowstorm Sunday Morning! Yes, a snow storm. Sarnia is right on the edge of Lake Huron and they get what is known as Lake Effect Snow. We didn’t stick around long after breakfast as the roads were getting slippery. Half way home it was down to flurries and nothing in Chatham. I really thought I’d seen the last of snow for this winter! It cut our day in Sarnia short but we got home safe and sound and that was more important.

My oldest grandson is going to be 16 this summer so I thought I’d start making some cards suitable for a teenage boy. I made two using the same stamp but different backgrounds.
 
I coloured them both with Prismacolor pencils but I put one boy with a red had and one with a blue hat because here in South Western Ontario most people are either Toronto Maple Leaf fans (blue) or Detroit Red Wing fans (red).

Both backgrounds were done the same way – by layering various strips of paper on a diagonal and then run through an embossing folder which does two things….it really presses the layers of paper together so they are well sealed and it gives some extra dimension to the card. They were both then glued to the kraft card base.

For the blue card I thought I’d run a new word die set I bought at the Paper Pickle when they had their winter sale. So, I found some brown cardstock, layered it behind the image, and used the left over bits to die cut the word. Then I realized that it does not cut out the entire word…..each individual letter instead……GROAN! There were four dies in the set and unless you really, really looked hard at them, it looks like you cut out the entire word. Not happy with this purchase and I’ll be careful about buying any other ones. But they were die cut so I peeled them all off and did the Happy vertically and added Birthday on a left over piece of blue cardstock.

For the red card I took a large red rectangle glued the image on it, but off the edge and then die cut a corner unit out of the same red with my Stampin’ Up punch to add to the lower right corner.  This left me room to stamp the sentiment on the left of the red cardstock. Before gluing it to the striped background I ran some bakers twine around it.

That’s all for a very cold Monday – yes, it’s cold again! Mother Nature has an evil streak I think. We had one really nice spring day and then it turned cold again.

Cheers
Violet

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Seize the Birthday Challenge Card



It’s just refusing to warm up to seasonal temperatures here in Ontario and the temperature is just above the freezing mark during the day, dips down to just below at night. The good news is that the maple syrup is running now and hopefully there will be no shortage of it this year. I cannot stand the imitation maple syrup so it’s just the real deal for us or nothing. One of my sons-in-law taps a few trees around his house but I think he gets enough syrup to coat a spoon or two and that’s about all. I remember one year my father tapped the maple trees on our farm and came in with enough sap to fill a HUGE pot that my mom had on the stove. Of course, it was pretty much up to my mom to stir and stir and stir it with us kids taking a few quick turns to relieve her…..and I still remember how little syrup we ended up! So disappointed. It was the only time I remember him doing that so I have a feeling my mother probably told him, “You tap, you stir” so that was the end of that.

Today’s card was made for the Seize the Birthday challenge which was to make the sentiment the focal point.


This Memory Box die fits the challenge just fine. The black cardstock was die cut and, I being my cheap self, kept the birthday letters that are cut out and set aside for another card. Then the bright yellow cardstock was run through an embossing folder just to where the black cardstock starts. Then it was glued to the white card base and then the black sentiment glued over top. To fill in the top right corner to balance the card a small butterfly was die cut in black and the top in the same yellow and glued on. I like that the butterfly belly and antennae are die cut at the same time. A simple but very striking card.

That’s all for a cool Friday, March-20-15

Cheers
Violet

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Wizards



I spent the day keeping my sister company on the drive to London so she could have a doctor’s appointment. She’s fun to be with and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. One of the stops we made was at a Len’s Mill – an all-around discount warehouse like place. They sell pretty much every household item there is and likely more, including crafting supplies and ……FABRIC!!! My friend and I have decided to make some quilts to be auctioned off as a fund raiser for our local SPCA. ….okay, it was my idea and she just goes along with all my wild ideas…. They desperately need a new building and the fund raising is going strong this year and even though neither one of us has a dog or a cat, we are animal lovers just the same and want to help. So, I put a request out for dog or cat fabric to some of our quilting friends and we got quite a bit of dog fabric in but not much for cats. So I was pleasantly surprised to find on the clearance rack, kitten fabric…..really, really cute kitten fabric. I bought enough to make a quilt for the SPCA and one for my honourary daughter – my oldest daughter’s best friend who calls me Mom2 and I refer to her as daughter 3 ½....I tell people she is only ½ a daughter because her mother wouldn’t let me adopt her. I did pick up a couple more pieces of fabric that I absolutely needed and was on my list to get if it was on sale…and it was…but put some back that I carried around a bit because I’m trying to use up my stash, not add to it. It was hard to do people, hard to do, but back it went. I didn’t buy any crafting items except some Tacky Glue in very small bottles with tight lids that I can refill. Some times I have great restraint, sometimes none at all!

 When I got home I checked the mail box and to my surprise I had a hand painted post card from one of my followers. We started following each others blogs and quickly became blogging friends. This is the beautiful post card she sent me. Thanks Deb. I love it and my sister was in awe over your talent - she really loved it!



She is a wonderful artist. Check out her blog at:
http://learningtojustbreathe.blogspot.com
  
While I was recuperating from my cold last week, I spent some time colouring up some stamped images. Here are two cards, same stamp, coloured in different colours.


Both are coloured with Prismacolor pencils and blended with gamsol.  I actually coloured two with red coats and two with green coats but I just photographed one of each as they are all about the same. These are part of the latest release by Stamping Bella. The stamp came with a sentiment…..”Hope your birthday is pure magic”…..which is stamped on the inside of the card.

The background paper has quite a story! I made it! About a year ago I saw a YouTube video about painting, spraying ink and stencilling your own paper and decided to give it a try. I started out with some very ugly 12.x12 inch scrapbooking paper that I just knew I would never use so I started playing. I missed one crucial step in the process – dry between spraying and painting!!! Most of the paper came out dark brown…which is what happens when you keep spraying on ink without drying between coats. DUH! I figured it out after they were a lovely shade of various browns. 

So, I tried various methods to lighten them – extra gesso, more ink, more paint with limited success. Then I read that if you put gesso on ink, it will soak up the ink and remove some of the colour. See those circles to the left and on top of the wizard wearing the red jacket? That was white gesso applied over a stencil and it did pick up some of the colour underneath. Same as the lighter bits on the other card. I stencilled butterflies, circles and flowers and other things with gesso and let them all dry. It was interesting paper, but still quite ugly. I gave up and set it aside. Then when I made these cards I decided they needed a wild looking background and my ugly homemade paper seemed to jump off the shelf saying use me, use me…so I did….and I’m glad I didn’t toss the ugly paper like most people would have done! Some times it pays to be a bit of a hoarder.

That’s all for a Thursday


Cheers
Violet

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