A Triple Play of Emotion

Today has been one of those days that sets emotions all over the scale, quickly!  It was a morning that brought a much anticipated package and before it was over, two phone calls with sad news.

The good news is the mail lady brought my Stamp Platform!  Once opened I was overjoyed to see it and touch it and know it is everything I had hoped for.

Platform Arrived 07192017

I must tell you how happy I am with Oozak.com, the on-line store through whom I placed my order way back before production was interrupted.  It is really amazing that I got mine this early in July, and I’m thankful too.  I had a scrapbook page on my table nearly done, so needed to finish it up before I can pull anything else out to play stamping on.  I am looking forward to stamping directly on my 12 x 12 layouts now that I can place them perfectly without the horror of miss-stamping something.  I’ve pretty much only stamped background images that do not matter if they come out poorly, other images I stamp on another piece of card stock and cut it out before pasting to the page. 2017Summertimesong

Here is the just finished layout.

The papers are from a pack I recently picked up at Michaels for $7.  It’s all about Arizona, to me, for which I have a big reason to scrap such photos.

My challenge was to use a summer song.  I chose this old song.  According to Wikipedia “Summertime” is an aria composed in 1934 by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. The lyrics are by DuBose Heyward, the author of the novel Porgy on which the opera was based.  I did not know this!  Definitely before my time for real.  For this layout I let the paper do all the work, I just cut and placed.  The title letters were cut with Cricut cartridge, the “sun” stamp is from a set by Stampin’ Up!, the “dream catcher” is from a set by Fun Stampers Journey.

For the sad news number one, while waiting for daughter’s friend to come pick her up for their road trip she got a call from this friend that she had hurt her ankle.  We went over to her house to assess her situation.  With a wrapped ankle she insists on going to this event the girls have been looking forward to all year.  She may be seeking medical attention by the sound of it.  She missed the last step of her front stairs and actually heard a pop.  Oh my – that can’t be good.

After a couple errands I headed home.  I got a phone call from the Prayer Chain lady requesting prayers for the son of a couple we all know.  Brian took an overdose of his medication and is on a respirator.  Very scary.  I promised to pray as soon as I got home.  At my sacred spot, I am now calling this location my sacred spot for prayer and meditation.  It is where I can feel focused and concentrate on praying.  I felt I must read something from my Bible.  I opened it up to Psalms.  I used to sit by Joey’s bed and read to him, especially from Psalms, when he was dying at Hospice, and I sometimes do just that when I need comfort in my grief for him.  So, what I turned to I want to share with you now.

Psalm 5, Prayer for Divine Help

Hear my words, O Lord; listen to my sighing.

Hear my cry for help, my king, my God!

To you I pray, O Lord; at dawn you will hear my cry;

at dawn I will plead before you and wait.

This seemed right, as if the Holy Spirit led me here.  I shared here, not because I believe God will read blog posts on the Internet, but, in the hopes you will join me in this prayer to God for Brian’s well being and that of his family.  Also, why not pray for your loved ones too.

Cards with Strips

Found this fun challenge on Splitcoast recently and can’t stop.

Here are two cards so far.  I cut thin strips of patterned paper and for this card:

J_2014PocketPup

…and pasted them in a herringbone pattern.  This adorable pup stamp is from Fun Stampers Journey.  Stamped twice, once on a solid and another on a pattern, both cut out and pasted together on a Spellbinders die cut.  Then I used foam squares to attach to the strips panel.

Next I’d like to show this card I made with some strips laid on a narrow panel:

J_2013Fabulous

Makes for an interesting back piece for my FSJ “Fabulous” lady.   And, while I had this set out I made another “Fabulous” card, this time without strips.

J_2018FS543Fabulous

My color choice is inspired by a lady’s outfit at church sitting a few rows up from me Sunday.  Often something catches my imagination for a card when I am out.  In this case it was the soft and unusual colors together – here it is represented with FSJ’s Pool Play card stock and SU’s Wisteria Wonder card stock together.  Her dress and body were both stamped on patterned papers.  I added some watercolor pencil to her to bring out the image a bit from the background.  The “Happy Birthday” FSJ stamp was heat embossed with white embossing powder and the “Fabulous You” was handwritten with gel pen.  I also doodled with gel pens on the Pool Play panel too.  The layered die cuts are Spellbinders.  The only embellishment, keeping it flat for mailing, are the FSJ Rainbow dots.

Thanks for taking the time to stop in.  Hope your holiday is safe and full of only the best kinds of fun and fireworks!

Hugs,

Joyce Ann

Some Favorite Flower Stamps

Here are two cards I want to share with you made with one of the Fun Stampers Journey set “Wonderful Day”.

I masked stamps and filled the panel with these images, then colored with Color Splash watercolor pencils. I inked the edge before adhering to the blue panel, which I  put on a what card that was dry embossed with the Journey bloom folder.

Experimenting with a base inking under the die cut panels of stamped blooms, I used the cut out left over from the flower panel as a masking frame to add ink to the white card. Flowers were also colored with colored pencils.

It was fun to see what I could come up with using the one stamp set.  These are such pretty flower stamps and I love practicing my water-coloring on them.

Sweet Dreams Layout

Created with the Fan-tasy Lea France stencil:

After selecting this stencil because of the ovals I was able to whip it out last night rather quickly.  Following lunch I spent a happy afternoon yesterday showing a friend how to use these Lea France stencils.  It wasn’t until the evening came that I couldn’t get the urge out of my system to make myself a page so I pulled this batch of photos out and played.

My granddaughter set up this photo shoot on her bed, mainly to get a photo to share with the ladies who gave the blanket to them.  The ladies who make and give baby blankets to the military families in their area request one thing in return – a photo of baby with the blanket if possible.  So, the photo session was staged with my two great grand babies.

Not needing the full shot of the blanket, I focused here on the precious baby boy by showcasing him in the ovals.  I think the two accent pics create a nice balance showing them together.  The title was cut with the Cricut, using “Cuttin Up” cartridge.  The sub-title came from a sticker sheet.  As soon as this title had come to me I know just the embellishment that I needed.  I stamped the cute sheep with the same ink color (Huckleberry Fusion) as the darker card stock.  Some glitter paper and hand doodling and I called it done.

Outside the Professional’s Studio

While waiting for the photographer we took some shots of our own.  Here are some scrapbook pages made with those photos.

This was a quick and easy page because I followed a layout from Splitcoast Stampers.  The papers and ribbon are from Fun Stampers Journey – gotta love the quality of their CS and DSP.

A smaller format here, 6 X 8, is for the Simple Stories album. I pulled some chipboard out for the embellishments and title.  Using this small format is more challenging for two photos.  The princess anticipated the flash, she nearly closed her eyes before the lens did its job.  I do love the shot of them smiling at each other.

The center photo shows how the photographer was posing our baby boy in the studio, I just had to sneak a shot myself.  The other two were taken back home in the den with his long pants off.  He is just so cuddly looking, makes me want to pick him up and hug him!  As for the building of the page, I followed a challenge from Splitcoast stampers again, this time to create the bars on the sides and have everything at the top – raising the bar, so to speak.  I cut 2 inch red strips, scored them, ran liner tape and added glitter.  The eagle is a digi from TLC that I printed with blue ink and then used a red gel pen on the inside, mounted on a circle of red.  I looked for quotes and found this one by Perciles.  “Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.”  Whether our little man follows his father into the Navy or not isn’t important, what is important is that he understands his choice to honor and protect freedom.

Many words have been written about the concept of what freedom means.  It isn’t just about the military who stand for the freedom of a country.  What does it take for one to be truly free?  It all starts from inside the individual.  My struggle has been to be free from the sadness in my life.  How many of us run around seeking happiness only to find we never quite achieve it or it all too swiftly vanishes?  The freedom to be happy is right here in this moment if we just stop and let it be!  All the good there is to be found is already ours, right within each of us, waiting to be accepted.  Let go of the past – it’s gone, over, done with, and can’t be changed.  That’s a hard one, for sure, and I will admit I struggle still, but when I stop fretting and just “be” I find the peace and joy I seek.  How can that be ?  Sounds too easy.  It isn’t easy to stop thinking about the past and future, it’s necessary to be free, though.  I forget, sometimes, that I have a helper within, a source of strength, the giver of freedom to just be.  The truth is within each of us because God, the Creator of everything, the Source, if you will, built it in us.  It’s helpful if you study the wise words of the Bible and learn the teachings of Jesus to understand how we already have the ultimate power to be free right here within us.  I’m going to throw this pitch for attending Church regularly out there.  Really.  It will help.  It helps me stay focused on the now.  There is something to be said for how freeing your own happiness can be when you are involved in helping someone else in need.  That’s what a good church group can do for you, give you the field in which to work for the greater good.  That’s one of our freedoms in the USA.  We should be thankful for it.  Some say they can do good for others on their own, I say “good for them”, not everyone can.  I work better when I’m focused on the Source of the power that is in me.  Sunday morning is my recharging station, my one on one with God.  So, I hope you will find your happiness and protect the freedom of others with the help of the power of our Creator in you.  It’s really okay to stop and just be, just to feel the freedom from worry, stress and fear.  You are not alone.

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Taking a Hike

My granddaughter and great granddaughter were in the habit of taking exercise just about everyday.  Some walks were shorter, but most were rather hearty.  There is a nice part down the road from their apartment complex.  She said it’s about a mile or so.  By the time one winds their way out of the complex I suspect it is certainly well into the “so” portion of the estimation.  The next day after I arrived I gladly joined the walks.

To my surprise Tiny Tot rides her bicycle.  I feared one of us would be pushing the bike home while the other carried the little one.  Not so!  She is a tuffy for sure.

There were talks about nature as we went along and several stops to pick a wildflower.  Soon, though, she had to be convinced to stop and look, but leave them,  She realized they were always withered by the end of the walk when she picked them and placed them in her basket.

Here is a layout I did with those first photos.

It went quickly because I was lifting a page done by a scrapper on Splitcoast stampers a while back.  I selected papers from my scrap bin for the squares.  Before placing anything, though, I spattered ink with a toothbrush.  Digging into the stash bags I found the word pieces and tags.  The yellow strips are K&Co I think.  It’s all a hodge podge of companies.  I did do some stamping.  The bottom left panel is a Fun Stampers Journey stamp, so is the little yellow saying near the top (which is hard to see-should have used a darker ink).  The bottom tag says “19 days to “D” day”, meaning until baby will be born.  She stayed healthy by walking, eating right, even going to the gym a couple times a week.  She is one awesome young lady, I’m very proud of my granddaughter.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stay happy by staying crafty!

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Coming Soon to a Newsstand Near You

DSCN3980_edited-1I love Take Ten magazine!  I also love getting the advance notice, especially when I have cards published inside.  I always feel “validated” when I’m published.  It’s good to know that the cards Stampington & Co receive are given to charity too.  So, it is selfish to a point but there is good that will come of the cards.  There are only so many cards one can send to friends, family, and that can be sent out from the church ministry. Currently Doris, our secretary for sending members cards from the church, says she has plenty.

After making the large batch of 42 cards recently for the challenges offered by Splitcoaststampers.com I have still been making one or so now and then. I guess I am back to my usual routine which is to switch between cards and scrapbook pages.  Just recently I have been pondering the fact that I am not focused.  I have too many interests.  I dabble in lots and am proficient in none.  Every time I come across a new technique I just on it.  I have to try it!  That in itself isn’t a bad thing, is it?  It’s good to be curious about every aspect of my crafting world.  That’s how we grow as artists.  There’s the catch: can I call myself an artist?  I believe I could be.  I could be so much more if I worked at it.  Artists who cut a piece of card stock come in many degrees of proficiency when cards are made.  Some of the card makers I have come across blow me away with the artistic mastery of their pieces – time and time again.  I seem to get lucky once in a while and put out a card that looks really good.  I want to be great, not just good.

Accepting good is the enemy of being great.  My daughter is an example of how hard work pays off.  She set out to learn to color with Copics.  She didn’t settle for getting good at it.  She has studied techniques and practiced the paths to perfecting her coloring.  She worked at it, coloring all the time, hours of coloring.  She now produces great works.  I’m still good at water coloring a simple little stamped image.

We all have a choice.  We can accept the “I can’t” and let it go as it is.  “I can never be great at water coloring”.  I don’t believe that.  I believe that practice makes us become better, lots of practice makes us much better.  I need to focus.  Where do I want to spend my energy?  What am I willing to sacrifice?  I have the supplies, lords knows, and I have the time.  Time passes and I squander most of it.

These are some cards I just made that have interested me to spend more time perfecting.IMG_1473 (Edited)

This one was for a challenge to create my own illegible handwriting and have some multi-media aspect.  I was inspired to make the background after heat embossing this Fun Stampers Journey image.  Then I mixed some gelatos with the light modeling paste and used it over the FSJ Stencil.

 

The challenge for this card was to use book page.  I also sponged some Distress ink over the tree stencil and did a quick but not awesome coloring with my pencils of the FSJ owl.

Opportunities!

I can!

Time – I can put it to use or continue to squander it until it runs out.

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42 Done!

42 cards in one week!  I amazed myself.

The DTGD challenges on Splitcoaststampers.com just kept coming and kept me interested. This is the kind of deal where one shouldn’t ponder too long, just make it happen.  I really like some of my cards, many I could have more, and some need a complete re-do.  But, in the end I finished all the challenges and won the honor of being on the Kings and Queens list.  Funny how titles can motivate and push us, isn’t it.DSCN3913_edited-1

I managed some variety in theme.  The most surprising are the bending frame (which is cool because I used the new tree die and have a deer and cabin in the woods scene) and the box to hold note cards or what ever.  Using different media, especially getting to play with watercolor more was a treat.  I even hit the 3 upcoming holidays with a start on cards for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Thanks for stopping by. Maybe you will find some inspiration to go get crafty too.

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Cards from Saturday’s VSN

My card stash is starting to grow, thanks to the Virtual Stamp Night at Splitcoaststampers.  Here are 5 cards I have finished from the challenges posted on Saturday.J_3745ATC-1_edited-1

This card went together quickly because it was an extra panel from where I made ATC’s for a swap. So all I had to do was mount it on the Butter Cream. Kristy had cut the background to use (the opposite side) on a card but changed her mind, this side was a perfect match for my bird panel.

Loved how this watercolor technique turned out. It was created from a tutorial on SCS called Bokeh.  I used Fun Stampers Journey Splash sprays, made a stencil with an acetate sheet and sponged on FSJ’s Whip Cream ink. Isn’t this new light bulb set too fun!

So long ago I fell for this “snarky” guy while shopping at a stamp store. It’s not often I can use him, so of course I jumped at the chance when I read the challenge was “something that swims”. I stamped him in FSJ’s ink and colored him up, quick as a flash, with the new pan pastels. The sentiment and heart dies are Fun Stampers Journey, as is the scissors that cut the grass strips.

Lucky for me, this Fun Stampers Journey die arrived in the mail this morning given me the perfect opportunity to make a 4th of July card to send and it fits the VSN challenge about baseball and the using these colors. The flag stamp is retiring and I had yet to actually use it until today. I inked it with the Candy Apple red, then with the Denim Days. The sentiment stamp was from the $1 bin at Michaels years ago, when those stamps were still just a dollar. I colored it with pencils. The narrow ribbon was a scrap still lying on the table so a made a little bow to embellish it. Now, I ask you, what could be more fitting as a tribute to the All-American game of baseball?

This final submission was a real treat.  It is a waterfall card technique. For the most part it was simpler than I thought it would be.  The one catch was the dimensions for the card base (what the patterned panel fits onto) was wrong. Once I got past that shock, I made my own by measuring out a new sheet of card stock. The bottom of the strip, the turquoise twine, pulls out and allows the panels of cactus pots to flip up. My plan is to mail this to granddaughter now that she is in Arizona. Besides, this new set of pots and cacti are just too cute.  It was from the latest Bloom Box.

I first thought the plant would pop up over the 2 inch square but it wouldn’t work because of the flip motion and how it would need to fold.

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Three Cards During VSN

Last night I stayed at it (the crafting table) and finished 3 cards for the challenges on Splitcoaststampers for the VSB (Virtual Stamp Night). I haven’t played in these challenges for a while.  Actually, I haven’t played much at all lately but I’m changing that.  Although there were 5 challenges, here are the 3 I joined in on for Friday.

The first one, using feathers, was a direct CASE from the Fun Stampers Journey catalogue, except for the colors.  I stamped the feathers on a scrap of Butter Cream and cut them out.  After stamping the green circle on the white panel I used just the piercing die from the circles, to make an impression and add some interest.  The edges weredistressed with the edge of the scissors and sponged with Oatmeal Cookie. The splatters were made with green and gold Silks.

The “Fabulous” red dress card was fun and quick.  Trying to decide on what fabric to use, as this was the challenge, proved to be overwhelming and the cards need to be completed within an hour, so I picked a stamp first. Thumbing through the stamps I spotted this lady and from there it was easy to walk into my sewing room and decide on a piece of fabric. I chose the piece of red tulle, folded it over and tied a narrow red ribbon in the center.  I “painted” her dress with my new and marvelous pan pastels. The small pallet knife with its little sponges worked perfectly to color on the velvety yummy red. Notice the ombre effect?

My final Friday card will be sent to granddaughter once they get their new house. They just arrived in Arizona and are currently staying with his aunt.  I think he has this whole month off before he has to report to his new job. Anyway, I like how it turned out.  The challenge was to use at least one circle – I used a piece of paper with circles. Then we had to use at least 3 of the colors consistent with an archery target – red, black, blue, white, or yellow.

I know you are probably wondering about these stamp sets and I apologize for not listing them individually, but please take the time to browse the catalogue on my daughter’s website. Know that this catalogue will be retiring and a new one (OMG is it going to be so cool!) will premier July 1st.  ENABLER ALERT ! ! !  That means some of these stamps may be on sale!  (Supplies will be limited)

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