Anniversary Card

July 17 was our 30th Wedding Annivesary. I made three cards for Steve; this is one of them. It's watercolor, hand drawn, no stamps.

Sometimes I am just brave enough to paint. I hope you are, too.

What difference a Machine would make

I have a new toy. Steve got it for me for Mother's Day - it's a Brother Scan-N-Cut.  It's a luxury I wouldn't have purchased for myself, but he heard me saying how I would like to have one, so he bought it for me.  Yes, he's wonderful.

The great thing about a Scan-n-Cut is that it scans stamped images and then cuts them out. It can replace the need for matching dies for stamped images. I imagine, after a while, it will have paid for iteself. I don't purchase every die for the stamps I have - far from it - but I do purchase some. I buy them especially when I am planning on mass producing a particular card and to do that, I will need to cut out an image (or images). Instead, I buy the dies.

For Mother's Day, I used a set of stamps from My Favorite Things called Polynesian Paradise - it's a Birdie Brown design (I love Birdie Brown's work). Using that set, I made eight cards featuring the girl doing hula, a palm tree (from another set) and the parrot. I mounted the girl on an action wobbler, so she dances.  I made seven of these cards for friends for Mother's Day (and the other one became a birthday card). I don't own the dies, so I had to handcut all eight girls, eight palm trees and eight parrots. Imagine how much faster that would have been with the Scan-n-Cut.

Time to Destash

This is a box that contains yarn. It's stuffed full of yarn. This past weekend I decided that my yarn stash was too large and that it contained too much yarn that I would never use. I have a friend with connections to a ministry at a prison near where she lives. She (and others) collect yarn for the inmates to use to knit layettes, chemo caps and other items to give away. I facebook messaged her and asked if what I had would help. The answer was yes, so I packed it up and sent it off to her this morning.

I've had a lot of this yarn for a long time, keeping it, thinking I might use it. Almost everything I sent to her were complete, unused skeins of yarn. Waiting for a purpose that I was never going to provide.

Believe me, it's hard to destash. It's hard to let go of what we aren't going to use - to admit that we will never use it, and that what remains is enough. 

And it's hard to find the motivation to go through what we have to separate what we will use and what we won't. And yet, to me, as I took the box to the post office this morning, I realized that it was an example of stewardship. 

What am I holding on to that I should let go of? What material items? What grudges? What hurts? 

It's time to destash.

Variation on Inspriration: Watercolor block stamping

 Are you a card maker? Do you follow Jennifer McGuire's videos? If you are and if you don't, you should.

The latest one demonstrated a technique in which she use an acrylic block to stamp watercolor ink (distress ink) on paper, and then emboss images on it.

I liked the look of what she did, and was inspired by it. All of my acrylic blocks are curved at the edges, but I do have a mirror stamp from MFT. I used that, along with distress ink, to stamp on Tim Holtz watercolor paper.

The first image uses Aged Mahogany, Victorian Velvet and Shaded Lilac. The second one uses Mowed Lawn, Evergreen Bough, Broken China and Salty Ocean. I inked the mirror image stamp, sprayed it with water, and then stamped it on the watercolor paper. I didn't lift it, and placed a jar of water on it for 5 minutes.
After lifting the block, I then allowed it to dry, used an antistatic tool, and then stamped Penny Black Dreamy (a wonderful, wispy flower) with Versamark ink, and then embosssed it with Ranger Liquid Platinum powder.

These are both anniversary cards, and the Celebrate stamp is from the June Simon Says Stamp kit, Floral Bliss.