Thursday, September 30, 2010

Second-Hand Rose

Today I've been looking at other artists' blogs and admiring their creations. I realize that my "art" all too often imitates life, and I wonder if that's something unique to me, or if everyone feels that way, at least some of the time. I so admire those little masterpieces with the perfect colors and the just-right embellishments. I'm sure their creators are the same people whose outfits and accessories always inspire second looks and sounds of appreciation. I so want my cards, like I want myself, to be an "Uptown Girl," but we both just sort of end up being a "Second-Hand Rose." Is there hope? Can it be learned through repetition and attempted duplication? It's what I'm working toward.

How I wish I knew how to add more embellishments to this card; I envisioned something "luscious", like a wedding cake. The card is lighter lavender than it appears: the front was cut horizontally, the sentiment stamped on the inside, and the top and bottom of the front are held together by a strip of acetate, creating a "window" to view the sentiment. Most of my papers and embellishments have been in my craft room, just waiting to be of service, so I rarely know the company they came from. As simple as this card is, though, it still fits a few challenges.

Oh Alice                            window or hole
Challenge Up Your Life      lace and pearls
The Shabby Tea Room       pearls and pastels
City Crafter                       flowers and frills
Easy Craft Projects            purple

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Everyone Has Her Price

Mine is chocolate! No anti-anxiety medication, no tranquilizer, will ever equal chocolate's soothing properties. There are times in my life that I really would love to jump into a huge vat of molten chocolate, a la Willie Wonka. But alas, I generally just end up eating one exquisite truffle. Cheaper than a prescription, faster working, and tastes better, too! I made this card for Pastor Appreciation Day, October 10 this year; the inside reads "Actually, (pastor's name)  is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy!" My pastor loves candy, so I hope he enjoys this card and knows how much he is appreciated.

I actually found some challenges that seemed to fit this card:
Raise the Bar                                                 something yummy (couldn't be yummier!)
Ooh-La-La                                                     sentiment
Creative Inspiration                                     2 stamped images
Secret Crafter Saturday Challenge            anything goes

Friday, September 17, 2010

Better Than Therapy

That's what my true friends are! And I want them to know it, so I will often send a card for no reason other than to say "I want you to know you are valuable to me." This is why I'm enjoying the creativity I'm learning through the cards I've been making, and I'm loving that I'm able to send a part of myself (blood, sweat, and tears -- LOL!) every time I send a card. I truly hope the people I touch through the mail, will understand how much they each mean to me.

Front/Outside of card
Inside of card with a perforated tear-off bookmark

I found three challenges at the same time this week: a color challenge, a notecard challenge, and a bookmark challenge, and voila! a card was born. To create this card, I cut it (from kraft cardstock) wide enough so that the back/inside could be folded inward 2 inches, and perforated on the fold to create the bookmark. It's something I saw on a commercially-made card decades ago, and I said "I can do that!" I think it's so much fun to get something "extra", don't you?

I've entered into these challenges this week:
Crazy 4 Challenges                               color challenge black, red, kraft
Sweet Stampin' Challenge blog              notecard challenge
Totally Stampalicious                             bookmark challenge
Order of Opus Gluei                              use letters challenge
Daring Cardmakers                               come fly with me (OK, the dragonfly on the bookmark is a stretch)

Friday, September 10, 2010

One Thing I Know

It seems the older I get, the less I know for certain. As a new wife and young mother, I "knew" the answers to all of life's questions. Gradually, though, I began to realize that not everything is black and white, and just like I'm expanding my horizons in my card-making, I'm learning to open my heart to thoughts, opinions, and even life-styles that differ from mine.  And I realize now that the desire to understand these differences does not necessitate  adopting an "all roads lead to Rome" point of view. However, there are some things that I know which will remain unchangeable truths: the sky is blue, raindrops are wet, every baby is a miracle, and "He (God) is mine forever." It's so good to know that the things I know for certain remain true and unchanging.

This card evolved over several days. I knew I wanted to use this sentiment from Our Daily bread, and that I wanted to use colors I hadn't used before. And after playing with, and discarding, every idea, I finally decided on this combination of K & Company papers, a flower and pearls I've had for a while, and some little mini-hatpins I've been trying to make. And just in time, too. I just found out my "co-grandma" of three of my grandchildren has had some surgery. I hope she will enjoy this "pick-me-up". In searching for a challenge for this card, I found a few:

Sentimental Sunday recipe challenge 1 solid, 2 patterned papers, 3 embellishments
Die Cut Dreams pearls and pins
Totally Papercrafts going dotty
Cook Up A Card recipe 1 sentiment, 2 ribbons, 3 autumn colors
Stamp and Create pearls and gems
Creative Inspirations lace/sparkle
My Time To Craft jeweled

Thursday, September 2, 2010

If You Carry Your Childhood With You, You Never Become Older

(Quote by Tom Stoppard)

I often wonder if I'm the only one whose dreams and emotions and spirit just don't seem to match my physical age. Inside, I'm actually 30 years younger than outside, but I've been acting my "outside" age and it's no fun! I realize that I created boundaries long ago, constantly telling myself that I can't wear this or I shouldn't do that, and I can't create, I can only copy. Now I'm trying to figure out why I ever placed such restrictions on myself, and the only reason I can come up with is that somewhere along the way, I stopped carrying my childhood with me! Today's card is yet another attempt to do something new, and I'm continually amazed that whenever I take tiny steps outside of my box, the world doesn't explode, people don't laugh at me, and my friends still love me.

I've had the background paper for a long time; it's pink toile and shows little girls playing at being grown up. The sentiment is one that makes me think of my own kids and grandkids, and literally brings a lump to my throat every time I read it. Colored ink didn't work for it, but the black was just a tad too stark, so I put some velum over it, which I punched with a lace border. The pearls seemed to be the right "soft" touch.

I enterred this in the following challenges:

One Stop Craft              sentimental
Paula's Ponderings         pink background
Craftypad                      pearls
Sentimental Sunday       clean and simple
Die Cut Dreams             soft shades of vintage
The Shabby Tea Room  old meets new