Sympathy, Fashion, & A New Stamp Company

Good evening! Here we are in the last week of January, the month that seems to never end! Does it seem like that to you? The New Year and holiday season always feel like ancient history by the time January winds down.  I don’t mind a slow month, though, as I need the time to get myself in order for 2015, and since my birthday kicks off the month of February, I plan to formally spring my new year objectives into action then!

For now, I have some catching up to do here and in physical reality!  Be on the watch for  portfolio entries this week showcasing some holiday cards and seasonal thank you’s (all of which I need to finally get off my desk and into the mail!).

On a more somber note, I have a sympathy card to share today.  There were a few inspirations for this card: my Savvy flower dies, an oval shape, Downton Abbey, and the current Runway Inspired Challenge!  I wanted to play along with their last challenge, but time wasn’t on my side.  It’s funny that I’ve never played along, since I sew, love fashion, and often visit their site.  Well, I’m throwing my hat in the ring now, and plan to more often in 2015!

So here is the inspiration photo, outfit courtesy of Carven, a designer entirely new to me!

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And here’s my take:
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I wanted a lot of open space and texture, but I deviated a bit from the ivory of the model’s pants, and went with white instead.  I pulled the orange-red of the belt buckle into my card base, and positioned my floral paper so the red flower would be visible.  The MME Market Street Collection, Nob Hill, is full of delightful floral papers, and this one not only seemed to echo the patches on the model’s blazer, and the obvious prominent black, but was also influenced by this season’s episodes of Downton Abbey.  If you are a fan, you may have noticed the ladies donning quite a bit of ruddy-hued and marsala dresses, as well as delicious florals, ivory and jet black.  This week’s episode 4 (state-side) even featured a fashion show!

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The texture of Ranger’s watercolor paper is divine.  I think I will be using quite a bit of it this year!  And I’ve not yet done justice to my Savvy floral dies– they will be getting quite a bit of use as well.

I used heavy vellum from PTI to emboss my Verve stamp sentiment.  The flow of the font echoes that of the die cuts and underlying pattern.

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A sampling of Downton fashion–boho, glam, and lithe flapper!

And speaking of fashion on and off the runway–

Have you heard of The Ton?  I recently purchased some stamps from them as they have just launched, and I am thinking their focus would be perfect pairing for Runway Challenges.  Here’s a little bit about them:

“Established in January 2015, The Ton was born out of a combination of one new crafter’s passion for card making, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.  Our stamp designs are inspired by haute couture fashion and modern decor.”

I am really excited to get my shipment of “Round Diamonds” and “Vintage Frames”!  Check them out, as they have some unique offerings!

That’s all for me this evening!  Head over to RIC for some inspiring paper and fabric art!  And if you are looking for other challenges, check out my links page in the menu header!

Have a fashionable week!

 

 

Every Dog Has His Day

Well, hello there partners!  It’s been a bit quiet around these here virtual parts.  The noise has all been happening my “real” world of work, personal, and exciting creative commitments the past 2 weeks, so the site has lain silent a bit longer than planned.  I wish it were still March 4th, so I could say, “Now it is time to March forth…”  and have the pun be relevant!  Pretty good, don’t you think?  I love a double entendre, and if you haven’t noticed, anything witty and wordsmithy!

So tomorrow I will be happy to reveal some thrilling news and corresponding work that I hope will be inspiring to you!

In the meantime, I will share some recent watercolor work that was prompted by play and, unfortunately, necessity.

This is heading over to Virginia’s new challenge, first up, watercolors!

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Recently several clients have lost human and animal family members, so I have been working on some sympathy cards for them this week.  Completed is a card for a family who lost their beloved dog of 18 years last Saturday– 18 years!  While losing an animal companion is certainly different than losing a human one, it is nonetheless a traumatic event that significantly alters one’s life.  And anyone who has nurtured an animal from infancy, or a young age, to adulthood knows the incredible bond forged between two species that transcends verbal communication.  It is a relationship that teaches selflessness, incredible patience, and commitment if one really takes the time to listen and understand the ways of a creature, who in many aspects may not be entirely different from you.  I often feel like a little zoologist in my humble habitat as I observe daily the intricacies of my cats’ behaviors and moods, and their shifts and development over time.  For example, just as we grieve our humans and animals, our animals also grieve, and witnessing this in my cat, Atticus, was a complete paradigm shift for me as I watched his attitude and behavior drastically change upon the loss of his best friend, Claude.  It took about 8 months for us to have our Attie back to “normal”, though since Claude’s untimely death, Atticus has retained a level of clinginess we’d not experienced before.

So I find it appropriate to honor the life and passing of our animals just as we honor the life and passing of our fellow humans.  I hope my little card here does just that for it’s recipient.

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Watercolor has been taking the paper crafting world by storm; therefore, I decided to dabble a bit.  It seemed an appropriate choice for the content of the card.  I initially began playing with Distress inks and my Paper Smooches Paws for a Cause dog stamp (partial proceeds from this stamp set will go to Home for Good, so buy this set for you or the animal loving stamper in your life); then I moved on to the paws!  I have a series of these “dripping” paws which I will showcase later.

The watercoloring/stamping technique pulled me in so much once I started, I couldn’t stop!

Below is a series of my dogs that I created.  Click on any image to enlarge or watch a slideshow.

So the technique… I initially inked my craft mat with Distress in Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans, Crushed Sapphire, Peacock, and Tumbled Glass.  For some of the stampings, I directly inked the stamp, stamped on watercolor paper, and then stamped again with another color, adding water either to the stamp or to the paper with my brush.

For other applications, I added multiple ink colors to the stamp, sprayed with water, stamped, and then re-stamped partially with a particular blue or blues.  I then went in with my paintbrush and added color here and there to the image, moved color around, altered perspective in the dog’s head with the addition of color (in images some it looks like his head is turned, in others it looks like we are seeing the back of him).

Overall, I really just played around with the ink and water both on the stamp and on the paper, sometimes intentionally manipulating the color or flow, other times working more spontaneously.

I worked the same way with the paws, though in this card, the paws were just stamped once, the dripping was stamped once then manipulated with a brush.

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The dripping is from Fresh Squeezed Stamps’ set “On Trend.”  Sadly, if you didn’t already know, the paper crafting community is mourning the loss of that stamp company.  Their “On Trend” set is one of my favorites of all stamps from any company.  I will be sad to see them go.  They produced quality stamps that were quirky, fun and definitely on trend!  Right now they are offering 30% off all merchandise until March 31st, so check them out before they close for good.

And speaking of closing (but not for good!), I will bring this little entry to it’s end, as I need to prepare tomorrow’s post, and check out what some of my crafty friends have been up to!  I am feeling pretty out of the loops, so it’s time to do a few around the blogosphere, dropping some love and picking up some inspiration along the way.

And if you have the time, drop me a line!  It would be great to hear from you!

Like Bob Barker used to say at the end of the Price is Right, “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered!” and, I will add, consider adoption first, as well donating to your local rescue group!  Every little bit helps a furry friend in need.

xo Kate, Atticus & Leo

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Silver Linings

Good evening!  I was planning to pair today’s card with the amazing paper art I have been learning about and viewing recently, but I will have to keep you in suspense a little longer given the exhaustion that is clouding my mind and making it difficult to center my thoughts!  And here it’s only Monday!  Maybe I should head over to Taheerah’s Cure for the Monday Blues and play along!  She always has something fancy and fabulous to see!

My entry for CASE Study’s current challenge was designed for someone who is, unfortunately, experiencing a blue time.  As you can see, I remained faithful to the design by muse, Danielle Flanders.

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I am always excited when I see other crafters using their tools in novel ways, and am equally excited when I, myself, make such a discovery!  For this card, I didn’t want to complicate the large sentiment by adding embellishments; but I did want to create a cloud-scape.  I have a variety of border dies and speech bubbles that could have worked for the clouds; but then I looked more closely at my new Floral Threader Spellbinders dies, which I haven’t put to use yet, and there it was!

A2 Floral Ribbon Threader

I just ran the paper through with the long end of the frame die along the edge and, voila, instant cloud border.

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Since every cloud should have a silver lining, I added some silver thread along the striped washi border.

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The stamps I used are my new Deep Red Stamps 3×4″ wave background, which I inked with Memento Dew Drop dye inks in yellow and red, and Hero Arts shadow ink cube in Soft Cantalope, and PTI’s sentiment from Movers and Shakers.

Deep Red Stamps Japanese Wave

I definitely felt like something was missing from the card, and I wanted to play on the clouds and rain theme.  So I added a touch of turquoise in the enamel dots and washi strip.  As said in my last post, I am craving turquoise right now!  The addition really seemed to do the trick and draw the eye to the sentiment.

I am going to leave you with some beautiful art work I happened upon last week; Kate Collins is an Australian painter, and I love what I have seen of her work.  I especially love her River River Jewels.  These are surely a cure for the Monday blues.

May you find silver linings in all your clouds!

Sympathy Card

A Card from the Heart

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While making cards is wonderful creative outlet, being tasked with the creation of a sympathy card can be challenging.  However, it can also be really rewarding as you keep the recipient in mind and work towards a finished product that communicates through image and word your heartfelt sentiment.

This particular card took a few attempts to get just right in terms of image placement, stamping weight, and copic coloring.

I embossed the quatrefoil stamp from Impression Obsession with Inkadinkado clear embossing powder and Copic colored the Darcie’s “Tea Time for Two” flower image with E0000.  All ink is Versamark.   Sentiment is from Paper Smootches.

I like the simple nature of a one-layer card as I prefer CAS sympathy cards.  However, I am thinking of experimenting with color and depth, possibly fussy cutting the flower so it pops from the card.

Comments are much appreciated & I would love to see your take on sympathy cards!

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