Friday, October 23, 2020

Roses in October

My mom had a Peace Rose that bloomed in the summer and again in the fall. I love fall roses, they seem so special. This rose is lovely and large and has a slight scent.


Today I want to share some cards using a fabulous 3-D embossing folder with roses that I purchased from Sizzix. It's larger than a 4.25"x5.5" card, but I've trimmed it down to fit. It's also smaller than a 5"x7" card, so you can have a border if you use this size of card.


I used Lawn Fawn pearlescent vellum and only part of the image came out without a bunch of lines near it. The paper is super thin and I used a lot of pressure with the Gemini Jr, and I know that's what distorted the embossing. So I just trimmed a bit and added it to a pre-printed ombre card. The gold washi is Altenew. As with most vellum, you have to be judicious with your adhesive. I added a tiny glue dot behind the rose and leaf and then adhered the left edge with liquid glue. I then used the washi to cover it.


For this next card, I embossed on white heavy cardstock and then used Distress inks to lightly apply color to the raised area. Love all the dimension in this folder. I used some thin rose gold stickers for the edge.



For this card, I used white cardstock again but inked the edges in blue and some green. I wish I'd gotten better pictures, but I am loving how these are turning out. I mounted this trimmed panel on navy card and used some silver line stickers for the edge.



I'll be making more rose cards I know and I'll get some better shots—these are after editing too. This card would be nice for anyone with vision impairment since there is a lot of texture to feel.

Happy Fall Friday!
Chark






 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Home Sweet Home—Journaling with Julie 10

My sister, Julie, and I continue to make art from the lessons in this fab book from Tamara LaPorte and today is our tenth lesson to share. This one was about your home and childhood and used words and collage to create a little home of your own. A lot of these lessons call for introspection and help you address some things you wished were different. 


I used some washi tape, some glitter-look papers, some text paper and some paper I had stenciled on to create my house. I added flowers, stars, hearts and a bird as my symbols. I toned down all the chaos with some watered down white acrylic paint and used a silver and black marker at the end.



And I drew me peeking out, with a crown on. Julie and I decided I look a little like D.W. or another character from Arthur. It was unintentional, but what do you think?




I was an insecure kid, full of worry, so I added the phrase "you will thrive and be surrounded by love" because really that's all I wanted. In addition to my sisters and mom, I had a lot of people in my life who loved me. I'm lucky to have found my hubby when we were 16, lucky to have two wonderful kids with him and lucky because he's crazy perfect for me. If my little kid self could've known how well life would turn out, she could've calmed the hell down. 😃




From Julie: "Here’s the outside of my house. I collaged some of my painty papers for the sky, the grass, and the tree trunk and I put a magazine picture of a fall tree for the upper tree part. I used scrapbooking papers for the roof and the front of my house and I used two buttons for like the door knobs and a string for the closure.


I stamped some shapes on the outside of my house and along the edges and outlined some of those with a black sharpie. I use a little bit of white acrylic paint to finger paint all over the picture to kind of unify it but it doesn’t show up very well. On the inside of my house I put pictures that I love now and as a child. Two elephants, googly eyes, ice cream, colorful balloons, Sesame Street characters, a lighted candle, a girl sitting on a bunch of books she’s reading, and finally a cross intertwined with a heart. So the things that I loved as a child and as an adult are represented here: favorite animal, treats, my love of reading, and finally love and faith. On the inside of the doors I used ton of different markers and just scribbled all these colors because it’s one of my favorite designs really."



I love that she went large with her project, I cut corners a little and went smaller, while she went for it. I felt like I should redo mine, because I didn't even read all the directions (by accident, I swear) but she assures me it's dandy and no need to redo. As I'm essentially lazy, this worked for me.

Hope you find some time to be crafty this weekend, and think about picking up this book, it's really fun. And nope, there are no affiliate links, just sharing.

Happy Friday,
Chark


Friday, October 9, 2020

My Month is All Booked Up

This is National Book Month, people! So excited! This means I have all the excuses in the world to read instead of clean...what kind of citizen would I be if I ignored National Book Month? 😃😃

I have to admit I've already been doing this for a few weeks. Yes, I see those cobwebs in the corner of the ceiling but I need to find out whodunit. Plus, since it's October, don't they add to the Halloween decorations? I'm pretty sure they do.

Some of my favorite books from my childhood or my kids' include Winnie-the-Pooh, Arnie the Doughnut, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Little House books, the Blossom Culp books and Guess How Much I Love You. Side note, the Colorado Craft Company is now making acrylic stamps designed by the illustrator of that last book, Anita Jeram, and I snagged a set. Can't wait til they get here.









Some books I think everyone should read include Red Scarf Girl (because it's a memoir that reads like fiction and takes you on a journey in China during the Cultural Revolution), Saint Iggy (because the main character is engaging and you want him to succeed despite the rough hand life has dealt him),  The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (because it's fun and funny and the narrator happens to be bisexual during the 1800s), Roots (because it's a riveting read based on the author's family history and it's an American story for all of us), and The Handmaid's Tale (originally it was a cautionary tale, and now it feels like current events).




On my reading shelf right now is Bowlaway, A Calm Brain and Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse. 



To finish up the post, I'll share a new artist I found on IG, @marnie_makes who has the best whimsical style and who has prints and digi stamps available at her Etsy store. I love this Oz stamp and of course had to buy it and color it up with my new Parkoo alcohol markers. I threw in a yellow brick road, a flying monkey and a Glinda bubble, though bubbles are apparently hard to draw.


                                                  


What's one of your favorite books from when you were a kid?


Happy Friday!
Chark





Friday, October 2, 2020

In October, We Wear Pink

Tomorrow is Mean Girls Day! If you've never seen Mean Girls, I recommend it. Tina Fey wrote it, Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams star in it and it's full of fun scenes, memorable characters and iconic lines, including, "On Wednesdays we wear pink."


Since it's also Breast Cancer Awareness month, I've been seeing t-shirts that say "In October we wear Pink" a lot lately. You can pick this one up here at Etsy, but there are several versions for sale everywhere. I think I need one, maybe the Pooh version.






I have a cousin who was diagnosed with breast cancer about 15 years ago...and she was the first person I thought of when I received my breast cancer diagnosis this year. As she told me, we are both in the club no one wants to be in. It was the end of February 2020 when I went to get a lump checked and not only did they do a mammogram, they also did an ultrasound immediately after. 

The tech came in and said it was "suggestive" of a problem. I still didn't think the word cancer until my ob/gyn called that night and said they had been informed. I told her they never really said breast cancer...and was it? And she gently said, "yes." After I hung up, I had a little breakdown, alone in the kitchen, of crying and thinking, "I can't do this...I don't want this." And then it hit me. Who the hell does want it? So, I pulled up my big girl panties and went on.

I had a biopsy, decided on bi-lateral mastectomy and reconstruction, and went in during April for surgery. It was restricted Covid times so my husband couldn't stay very long with me, but he did get to tell me after the surgery that my lymph nodes were clear. The cancer hadn't spread and my oconolgist a few weeks later told me my tests came back and I wouldn't need chemo. I couldn't believe it. It was like skipping the final exam...this surgery was it. The extent of the pain and suffering. I will need to take Tamoxifen for five years and deal with those side-effects but I can't tell you how grateful I feel that I didn't have to face chemo and radiation. I feel like apologizing to everyone who does have to take that journey. I am amazed at how the testing can be so detailed.

So, now it's October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month and my cancer is gone, my second reconstruction surgery is over and I am just concentrating on getting stronger again. And I'm here to urge you to do a self-exam every month. I noticed my lump because it was hard, unlike cysts or breast tissue. And it didn't move. I could literally pinch it and it wouldn't move. Mine was large, so it was super noticeable, but I know it would still have felt different than regular breast tissue if I had noticed it when it was smaller BY DOING SELF-EXAMS MONTHLY instead of just when I remembered.

I'm grateful for a lot during this journey—the doctors, nurses and entire medical team, my friends and family and strangers who prayed for me. I'm grateful for my husband, Matt, who has always been my "support" (in every sense of the word) for me during our life together, but especially when I was at my most vulnerable. I have felt so much love and support from my family and friends during this whole journey and it means the world when faced with cancer. Just a text saying hi can mean a lot to someone who is dealing with cancer every day.

Here's a little thank you card I made with Hero Arts Bookcase Background stamp...I'd send everyone a book full of synonyms of thanks for all the support and love I received if I could.




I want to remind you that you must be proactive and do those exams and remember that there is help, like the Pink Ribbon Girls groups for help with rides and food if you have no family close, should you ever need them. I hope that you don't. But being in denial and not facing cancer can mean your life. 

Do your exams, get your mammogram each year and pay attention to your body. 

Wearing pink is optional.

Happy Friday!
Chark

Friday, September 25, 2020

Spring and Fall Flowers

I enter a lot of giveaways over on Instagram and won this Honeybee Stamps Zen Bouquet stamp set awhile back, and immediately tried out the large floral stamp, but for these projects I inked up the small stamps.

For both cards I masked a portion of the cards and built a floral frame to color. For this one, I used fall colors like red, yellow and orange. The sentiments are from a free mini set from Scrapbook.com. I used the mini MISTI to figure out the placement of the stamps and because I knew I'd have to stamp multiple times to get a good impression from so many stamps. I love my MISTI...because otherwise, my stamping sucks. I was wary of spending $50 on a small item, but it really helps me enjoy stamping because I can get good impressions.


For the second card, I used the bright pinks and purples of my Spectrum Noir Alcohol markers and this one turned out to be my favorite. I like the colors and how the sentiment fills the space too. For both cards, I added in doodles with a black marker and white uniball pen. I also went back in and stamped the black small leaf to fill in some blank spots, this time using an acrylic block.


Which color palette do you prefer when coloring florals? Brights or naturals?

Happy Friday!
Chark










 

You Wanna Pizza Me?

I recently got the My Favorite Things Pizza Maker die and stamp set I've been eyeing for awhile. I started my obsessive pizza card making session with my first slim-line (long) card. Once you start die cutting these pizza pieces, you'll be like me and finding it hard to stop!




I ran the pizza dies through with a variety of colored cardstock and made piles of ingredients. There are pepperoni, onion, olives, mushrooms, cheese, sauce, crust and green pepper dies. There were two die cuts I guessed on, a small triangle shape that I think is pineapple and then a larger one that might be ham or tomato. I used a lot of my scrap cardstock, so the mushrooms were different colors of green and the pepperoni was a bright red and a darker red. But I just grouped the same color on each pizza.




For each crust (a variety of browns/tans), I intermittingly inked the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink so it looked like it came from a wood fired pizza oven. Then I started assembling the pizzas, and ended up with almost a dozen little pizzas with some leftover bits. For these cards, I used a shimmery silver paper for a pan on the right card and I trimmed a piece of wood paper into a pizza peel/paddle.



For this one, I put the pizza on a square of cardboard (kraft paper) like our local pizza joint serves theirs in the restaurant and made it into a pocket for a gift card.




The patterned papers are single sheets of picnic patterned paper I got from Scrapbook.com. The pizza paper is a single sheet from Michael's. I had a blast mixing and matching the pizzas and then the papers.




I typed out the Delivering Lots of Hugs sentiment, even though the sentiments from the stamp set are really cute. I hope my friends and family are all ready to get pizza cards this year!

Happy Friday!
Chark