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!
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.
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.
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