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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Bubbles & Cheers

Is the bubbly haze of good holiday cheer still hanging on for you, or have a few of your New Years bubbles already been popped?  I certainly hope it’s the former!

Over at Cas-ology the scene is sure bubbly, and since the last few days have found me feeling less-than-so, I figured a clean & simple card with just enough pink sparkle might help cheer the mood and chase away some serious Seattle gloom!

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I should mention, design-wise, I was inspired by Donna’s (of Three Umbrellas) card over at CASE Study this week.  So I am playing along with them as well.

 

I really liked Donna’s use of pastels, and attempted this with my Fresh Squeezed Stamps sequin stamp, but it just wasn’t working for me.  I was trying to keep this card very CAS (which I am still learning how to do, as I love clean and simple, but very much want that element of surprise; not an easy feat to pull off).

My decision to use Tuxedo Black ink for the sequin was due in  part to the stamp itself (very tricky to use pigment ink or Hero Arts Shadow Inks with this little guy).  The Tuxedo Black gave perfect detail and did not bleed, plus I was aiming for a clean black and white design with pops of color, so it felt right for this card.

So after experimenting with a few designs and different stamps, I settled on the card before you.  I do, however, have some other variations on this theme in the works, and hope to reveal them soon!

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I chose a tall & skinny card (3.5 x 6″) for this design, as it worked well the cascading effect of the sequins and the shape of the champagne glass. The front panel is cut using the Simon Says Stamp A2 Curved die.

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The sentiment and champagne glass are from Kelly Purkey’s set “Cheers“.  Initially, the card was going to read “Celebrate Love” using some PTI stamps, since I was going for a more Valentines-themed card with the pink-hued sequins; however, the Cheers sentiment not only fit perfectly width-wise, but the design really clicked for me.  And so a card was born!

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Alright, then.  I will raise my glass to you, dear reader, and hope your day is full of good cheer and inspiration.  If you are needing a good dose, then head over to CAS-ology and CASE Study.  Maybe grab a glass of rose, or a mimosa beforehand; it is Sunday after all and what better day to kick back with some bubbles before, during or after brunch?

 

Happy Birthday to the Car Lover

Zooming in to say “Happy Birthday!”

One of my students love cars, absolutely loves them and can memorize anything having to do with mechanics.  Since his birthday is tomorrow, and I wanted to play around with some paper placement ideas, I put this fun little card together.

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Also…..

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Over at

Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog

where they are keeping it clean and simple, so this card is headed their way!

Here’s a close-up!

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No excuse needed to pull out Memory Box’s Auto Parts dies!  I went a bit crazy putting them through the big shot– but what great confetti!  They would make an awesome table decoration scattered under cupcakes for  car-themed birthday party!

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You may recognize the stamp–I hadn’t broken out my Fresh Squeezed Stamps “Trendy” set (cannot wait to experiment with the sequin stamp that is part of the set!), and this happy birthday bubble felt completely right for the card.  I wanted very clean and was challenging myself to leave a lot of white space.  Initially, I had a fussy cut banner hanging across the top, but it did not feel right at all.  So off it came and on went the stamp, and voila, CAS!  My papers here are a combination of cut scraps from the bin at Impress Stamps, so I am not sure of the collection.

To shake it up a little, I played with paper placement, totally inspired by the work of Maile Belles over at Simply Stamped.  Oh, how I love what she has created with her combination of papers and angles!

Like here:

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and here:
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Is her work gorgeous or what?

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Can’t get enough of that washi tape!!

You can see my other car cards here and here!

So get in the fast lane and start creating!

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