Neon Birthday

Today I am going back, but it’s not to school (not yet anyway!).  Maybe it’s my reluctance to let go of this succulent summer that sped by, but I am craving bright color and design that pops off the page.  What better than neon, bold black and crisp white to fulfill that desire?

I set out to create a simple birthday card and it morphed into an hours-long affair playing with patterns, layering, and embellishing.  Since I will be back to a six-day work week and very busy school year in a little over a week, I’ve been giving myself permission to intersperse some paper play with the mountain of administrative work I am attempting to summit!  Unfortunately, I think I used up my quota of creative time today, because the mountain is looming and its shadow is making me not just a little anxious!

So let’s turn toward the bright!

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I started by strategically positioning WPlus9’s Ink Splats in Hero Arts Lemon Yellow ink so they would work with the flow of the sentiment.  Then I overlaid Winnie and Walter’s sentiment in Hero Arts Neon Pink and Versafine Black Onyx.  I added the final large splat above the sentiment to create a visual line.

And I thought that might be it, as I had just planned to layer the stamped piece over a white card base for a super CAS design.  But it just didn’t feel quite right.

Enter some Maggie Holmes paper and Lemon Lush from Studio Calico.  As I was layering, I realized I was replicating the sketch over at Winnie and Walter’s Share the Love week that I’d stumbled upon a few days ago.

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And since I was using the sentiments I so love from that company, I figured I’d see the design through and share some love with them by joining the challenge!   It is open until September 7th, and there are some fabulous inspiration pieces from their design team, like this little number from Kelly Griglione.

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I was equally inspired by her card specifically because one of her trademarks is using patterned paper inside her cards. I just love this.

A hallmark of my cards is the use of washi as a bottom and back layer, but this time I wanted to line my card’s interior like Kelly’s.

The Lemon Lush paper proved perfect for this purpose.

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You can lift the white layer of white paper to read the bottom layer of “Wordsmith” pattern paper.

Lemon Lush Wordsmith Paper 12x12

I thought I would stitch a bit onto the scrap pieces I added for some visual interest, but after I did, the stitching just didn’t feel right.  Out it came and I really liked the pierced holes it left behind!

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I added some sequins, but rather than leaving them flat, I propped each of them up.  I really like dimension in my cards, though it doesn’t make them easy to mail!

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Lovely layers.

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Once all was positioned and adhered, I decided to add a PTI wreath cut from 100# SSS Black Cardstock (I really can’t emphasize enough how much I love this multi-purpose wreath!).

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Are you feeling a bit brighter?

Now that I’ve come to the end of this post, the skies have darkened to a purple-grey over the Sound and the window behind my head is being pelted by some serious rain brought in on the whipping wind.  Intimations of fall indeed.

So stop by tomorrow if you’re in need of a more summery scene.  I will have another bright card inspired by one of my favorite card makers to share with you!

Until then, I bid you a good evening, and wonderful week back to school, if your family is headed that way!

A Maze of a Brain and Amazing Art

 

“Hello, yeah, it’s been a while.
Not much, how ’bout you?
I’m not sure why I called,
I guess I really just wanted to talk to you.
And I was thinking maybe later on,
We could get together for a while.
It’s been such a long time,
And I really do miss your smile.”

–England Dan and John Ford Coley, 1976

“Oh – stop

With your feet on the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there’s nothing in it
And you’ll ask yourself

Where is my mind?

Way out in the water
See it swimmin’ ”

–The Pixies, 1988

Ever feel like you’ve been existing in a time-warp, floating between dimensions, touching down lightly into reality and then off again?  That’s what the last ten days have been like for me!

Over the last two decades, as a migraineur, I have had to adapt to an uncooperative brain, which is not easy for someone who could be working, creating, reading, and writing 24/7!  Last week, I was hit with a three day migraine, the effects of which lasted for the remainder of the week–what migraineurs not-so-affectionately call “a migraine hangover.” So all creative and professional work was curtailed, and I’ve been playing catch-up, and taking life a little more slowly the last five days.

With a reduced teaching load due to spring break, I’ve had a bit more time to get back into my craft room and resume work on a few projects.  It has been so good to just play with colors and patterns and experiment with some new styles.  I will showcase some of those very soon!

Today, though I want to share a project I had completed right before I was derailed.  I took my inspiration from an art piece I found on Pinterest. It is called “The unending amends we’ve made (imperishable wreath) 2010,” (acrylic on cut paper, papier-mâché, wire, wood) by Brooklyn-based artist Lauren Clay.  Her work is delicious in terms of color, and at times unsettling in terms of contrasting hard geometric elements with the soft colors.

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The unending amends we’ve made (imperishable wreath), 2010, Lauren Clay

Here is my card:

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been compelled to create paper nests.  I have also been gravitating to varying hues of turquoise, coral, and pink, as you may have noted in my last few cards.  So when I saw Lauren’s work, I knew I wanted to try and replicate its form and color with my Memory Box branches.

TECHNIQUE:

I first colored separate panels of watercolor paper with a water-color brush and Distress Inks and Stains. I saturated some areas for deep color and lightened others with water.  I also flicked water onto parts of the panel for spotting.  I wanted to create an ombre effect, which you can see more clearly in the close-ups.

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After creating my pink, blue, purple, and yellow panels, I strategically cut many branches!  I’ve been quite the die cutting machine lately with my recent cards!  Flowers, circle, branches, oh my!

I then altered branches to get the desired shapes and sizes.  Finally, I worked on placement, which took some time!

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TIP: Take pictures of your stages, especially when working with a lot of large and small paper elements.  This will aid your memory greatly and allow you to compare different arrangements.

I was then ready to add that gorgeous sentiment from Winnie and Walter’s set The Big, Bold, and You.  I absolutely cannot get enough of these fonts and the quality of the stamps is awesome.  I just ordered their other set, The Big, Bold and Happy.  I used Versafine Onyx Black, which is just as bold as the sentiment!

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TIP: When working on placement of your font, use the Stamp-a-ma-jig and corresponding plastic sheet or stamp your sentiment on a scrap paper and position.

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I absolutely love how the flow of the “you” follows that of the branches.

 

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The inside and back are finished off with a simple strip of turquoise washi.

As some of you may know, CASE Study, run by the ever-inspirational artist, Chupa, is looking to expand its design team.  I had the honor of guest designing in March and would love to continue creating alongside all of the talented ladies on the team.

Chupa asked applicants to create a project based on the work of a personal muse in the crafting industry and a style that would challenge us artistically. I have many muses in the crafting world to whom I turn time and again for inspiration– and they vary greatly in their styles. I will be featuring some of these individuals and the cards I created based on their inspiration in upcoming posts.

However, as a writer and paper crafter, I have always looked to the art world and popular culture for inspiration.  So in this instance, while I am not CASE-ing any particular card artist, I was drawn to a compelling visual artist that inspired me to create a bold, modern, CAS-style card.  I hope this will count!

If you would like to apply for a position on the CASE Study team, submit your entry by 4/30!

Have an amazing day!