Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Countdown to Christmas

I didn't get the Christmas Spirit in 2010. I was a spectator, not an active participant.I didn't even send out Christmas cards last year. I am making progress with my Christmas Spirit AND cards for this year  Here are a couple of my favorite cards so far.
Stamp images, paper, twine, window bag, maple tag and washi tape are from A Muse Studios. Contact me at for purchase info.
All the images are colored using Copic markers. Even the coloring on the maple tag. I love coloring with my Copic markers. I'm not a natural artist, but I am improving. I'm glad that I've not let my lack of natural talent get in the way of my love of coloring. My excitement for Copic markers compares the same feeling I had when I opened my first big 64 color box of Crayola Crayons. Copics are crayons for grown ups.
Here's brief information on the "not so obvious techniques" I used. The icicles on the tag and inside the clear window on the bag were created using the A Muse Studio Grass die cut. I added a sparkle effect by dabbing the "icicles" with a clear embossing pad and then poured on iridescent embossing powder. Used a heat tool to melt the embossing powder. Clear glue and glitter would give the same effect. The maple tag on the linen bag was stamped using the stamp set Vintage Christmas Postmarks and colored using Copics. Santa's beard was made with the most awesome white uni-ball gel pen. Washi tape is a color, patterned tape that mimics a ribbon. Washi tape is easy to use and can be lifted and repositioned if you need. Thanks for reading. Keep creating. **Note** A couple of you have mentioned that you are having problems commenting and/or viewing this blog. My intention is to allow everyone to view and make comments, but I can't figure out why my settings aren't working. I'll keep trying. Please be patient with me as I learn the ins and outs of blogging.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Man Card and communication

Man cards are a tough challenge. My husband and son encourage me and love nearly anything I create. My men inspire me. My husband, Mike, is a truck mechanic for a utility company. Mike also has a GREAT eye for card designs and papercrafting projects. He designs, but doesn't implement. He's my go to guy when I'm stuck or feel like something is missing from one of my designs. He is good at seeing my design and then suggesting additions, twists, and new direction with the same set of supplies. Often, he will remember another set he's seen in the A Muse Studio catalog and suggest adding an additional image or element. Amazing. But there are times when I have worked on a design and I really, really like what I have done. I show him the card and he starts to make suggestions. That is what I wanted to hear! I wanted him to say it was perfect just the way it is. I'm hurt and disappointed. He doesn't understand why I'm upset, afterall, I'm always asking for input. When do I want input and when do I want approval?
I've learned to warn him before I show him a design that I feel is my best work. My warning, "I'm not asking for input, I'm just showing you this one" identifies an inconsistent message. That simple communication has saved hurt feelings.
I've learned at least one other lessons about communication with a husband; it isn't fair to spring a love pop quiz with no preparation. In the past, I would "test" my husband and his love or commitment. I would set up a situation and see how he reacted and then judge his reaction or non-reaction. If I didn't get the desired reaction, I was hurt or pouted. Was it fair to give him a relationship "pop quiz" without any parameters or study materials? Learning to communicate that something is important to me has improved our relationship. Pop quizzes in relationships aren't exactly fair or necessary. And with that last tidbit, on to the important stuff about the card.
This is a card I made with Mike in mind. I'm nuts about using a juicy dark colored pigment ink pad and clear embossing powder. Clear embossing powder works well with any dark color pigment ink.
Stamp set: Rock Star (A Muse Studio)
Paper: French Roast Gingham, French Roast solid card stock  (A Muse Studio)
Ink: French Roast A Muse Studio pigment ink
Embossing powder: Clear (A Muse Studio)
Please leave your comments and suggestions. Any suggestions for adding another color or another focal point are welcome. Thanks for looking.
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