Bicycle Card

Friends of ours are bicycling buddies of Steve's. For their anniversary, I made a card using Lawn Fawn's Bicycle Built for You.  If you look at that set, you'll see that it includes a bike for one - not for two, so I used a little creative masking and stamping to build a different bike.

Notice the left legs of the bikers. Those should be on the back.

Here, I fixed it. Stamped bike frame on white paper. Glued over.

Masked to add background - brushed on distress ink.

Finished anniversary card for friends

Mitred Crosses, Take Two

Many years ago, when the older son, Grant, started college, I made this blanket for him.  It is a Mitred Cross blanket, knit in his college school's colors (orange and black). It was a surprise for him, and for me, it was the largest object I had ever knit. That was in 2011.

Fast forward to 2014. Our younger son, Josh, graduated from high school and started college. I
decided to continue the tradition, so I knit him a Mitred Cross Blanket, using his school's main color, kelly green. Since son #2 is the same height as son #1, their blankets were the same size.

I wasn't blogging on this blog then, so I didn't write a post. It seems that I didn't take any pictures, either, which is very unlike me. To write the post, I had to text Josh and ask him to photograph his blanket for me.

Yarn: Superwash Wool of the Andies. This was a change from Grant's blanket. His was not superwash. Since I knit the blanket, I have machine washed and dried it, which was scary for all of us, but worked just fine. The colors were coal, cobblestone heather and dove heather (all three the same as Grant's) plus two green colors - a kelly green and a forest green, whose real names I have not recorded.

Needles: I don't remember, but I knit the first one with size 6, so I'm betting I used the same size with this one.

Pattern: Mitred Crosses Blanket by Mason Dixon Knitting. Here is the link on Ravelry, There used to be a post on Mason Dixon knitting, but it appears to be gone now.  In the corner of the blanket, I stitched musical notes (my deviation from the pattern). Those are symbolic of Josh, who is a musician.  I also made it longer than the pattern calls for - Josh's is a total of 15 squares. I added a black edging to the finished blanket.

Travel images

How about some images from our recent weekend trip? These were taken with our Nikon 5100 (details about our camera at this page).

Bird on post, near Summersville, WV

Blue flowers - what kind? Near Summersville Lake

Near Summersville Lake.

Female cardinal near Gnats Run, WV

Male cardinal near Gants Run, WV

Cathedral Falls near Glen Ferris, WV

White dogwood in Summersville

Process vs Project Card Making

I was thinking about card making today. I was kind of regretting that I hadn't had much time to just "play" with my stamps and supplies. For me, playing means to explore media, to pull a set of stamps and see what I can do with them, to experiment, to use up a card kit - playing is a great creative outlet.

In knitting, there are process knitters and project knitters. Process knitters mainly enjoy the knitting of the object. The goal for a process knitter is not really the finished product - it is the knitting, The ultimate story about process knitters that I've heard is women in a eastern European country (I think) who couldn't get yarn, so they would knit a pair of socks, frog the knitting, and then knit the socks over and over again, just for the pleasure of knitting.

Project knitters are in it for the end product. When I knit a gift for Christmas, with a fixed deadline, and a rush to finish, I am a project knitter. I just want to get to the end, where I have the scarf or the socks and can wrap them and call it all done. I don't enjoy the knitting as much.

Today, I realized that the same can be thought of in card making - sometimes I am a project card marker and sometimes I am the process card maker.

  1. When I make cards for the people on my list, I am a project card maker. This month, I needed to make 11 Mother's Day cards, 7 "event" cards (birthday and anniversary) and a few other, non-categorized and non-planned cards (Get Well, Thinking of You. I've been pushing to get this list done for a few weeks. Today I finished the Mother's Day cards, and I have two more event cards to make for the month. I enjoy doing it, don't get me wrong, but there isn't a lot of "play" in it.
  2. Sometimes, I just sit down and enjoy the process. I end up with cards, but they aren't for particular people. For example, the card in the image with this post is a Suzy Plantamura pre-made print. I took it with me when I had time to color during breakfast, and colored it in with Zig Clear Color watercolor markers. Later, I took the finished piece, mounted it, and made it in to an anniversary card for a couple on my list.
It seems to be a small difference, but the first way feels as if I am working toward a deadline. The second way feels less stressful and more like play. It in in the process that I learn new skills, usually, because I'm trying new techniques. It's in the play that I grow as an artist.

I need to remember to take tame to play - not just to make cards.

Lydia's scarf

This is Lydia's scarf. It is also a lesson in how, if I don't write things down, I won't be able to remember them.

I knit this in December for our son's finance.  The picture is bad and my memory of the detail of the knitting supplies is bad. But I'll do the best I can:

Pattern: Ripples from Knitpicks (this much I know).
Yarn: Wool of the Andes Superwash bulky (I think), 3 skeins (maybe)
Color: Aurora Heather
Needles: Size 9

My soon-to-be daughter in law is tall (almost 6 feet), so I knit the scarf to be six feet long. I worked hard to finish is by Christmas, and measured it wrong - it was probably at least 7 feet long when I finished.

I like the look of the pattern, and it didn't take too long to memorize. I'm unhappy with the edges and how they curled. It could be the way I knit it, though, and not a function of the pattern itself.

Also, I was in such a rush to finish it and wrap it that the images of it are bad. This one is heavily edited in Photoshop to try to get the color close to correct - it's ok, but not quite right.

Lessons learned - write details down, take better images, measure better, and work on the edges.

Oodles of Doodles

I am creative; I can stretch that to say I am artistic. What I am not is a person who is able to draw. That would be a great gift, and it is a gift my older son has. He didn't get it from me.

However, I was scrolling through Instagram the other day, and Stephanie Klauk posted an image of her bullet journal - the page where she was working through the Oodles of Doodles challenge for April. It's a list of prompts - 30 of them - and for each of them, you use the prompt to lead you in a doodle.  A few example prompts for April are tulip, bunny, ants, picnic - you get the idea.

It looked interesting  and as I said, I can't draw. But I CAN play. So I grabbed the list from The Petite Planner's Instagram feed, and created a spread in my bullet journal.

The drawings are doodles. They aren't great - as I said, I can't draw. But it is fun. And it reminded me about something important regarding creativity. You don't have to be good at something to do it. Do it anyway. Play. Create. Have fun expressing yourself.

My Raskog Cart

Top Shelf
 I have a cart that sits near my studio desk - it's a Raskog cart from IKEA.  When I was setting it up, I looked around the internet for ideas - and didn't find many. So, this is how I set it up.

Top Shelf:
  • Box with stamps I want to use soon. In particular seasons, this turns into seasonal stamps (like Christmas).
  • Box with precut papers I can use for the inside of the cards, bags I use to put finished cards and envelopes together and other small papers.
  • Basket with towels for cleaning (paper and cloth).
  • Scoreboard and Misti

Second Shelf
 Second Shelf:
  • Two baskets of embossing powders: metallic and colors
  • Coffee filters for embossing
  • Box of acrylic box which also contains basket for ink blending tools and ink swatch stamp.
  • Small basket of long strips of paper for sentiments
Third Shelf - one side
 Third shelf:
  • Basket of large cling rubber stamps (especially backgrounds and Penny Black)
  • Jar of finger blending tools
  • Jars of water for watercoloring
  • Pencil cases - Prismacolor (the large one), Derwent Inktense and Derwent watercolor

Third shelf - other side

I love my cart. It has made staying organized, and having everything handy for when I need it so much easier. One of my favorite purchases! I also enjoy using baskets to help keep everything organized on the cart. I enjoy how they look. The exception to this is the acrylic blocks, which are in an acrylic storage box.