Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Birthday Card Mojo

Hi CardMonkey Fans!

Yes, I said spine surgery. I had a discectomy at C5-C6 with
a fusion (plate/screws). To access the spine, the orthopedic
surgeon made an incision in the front right of my neck with
just a few stitches necessary. "Minimally invasive" surgery
is so much safer (no spinal cord involvement) and it's easier
to recuperate. The redness around the Steri-Strips is from an
allergy to bandage adhesives.  I DO feel much better now!
I had a "wee bit" of spine surgery last week which has knocked me for a loop. It has taken a lot of determination to get up the steps to visit The Paper Jungle and try to find some creative mojo. I'm doing fine ... though I'm in the "sleepy and weepy" stage that makes me just want to sleep the day away.

Luckily, I have many resources and machines that make my cardmaking easy. I owed a few birthday cards to a Birthday Card Club I'm in.  I found this sweet cut on the Silhouette Online Studio; cut out of CTMH "Smoothie" cardstock, I coupled it with some light seafoam green in a cardstock pack from Kathy Davis Studios.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Autumn: A Watercolored Festival of Fallen Leaves

Brrrrrr!  A wet, cold front has moved into the East Coast, thanks to the whipping winds of Hurricane Joacquin that fortunately turned out to sea. But what had been temperatures in the 80s suddenly dropped into the 50's and maybe lower, with the wind making the air feel even colder.
Yup, Mr. Monkey had me move the kid toys out of from in front of the fireplace and he kicked it on for some quick warmth in the living room. I thought I could suffer through the chill at night, but I caved, and turned on the heat. And broke out jackets. And shoes!  I miss warm weather already!!
But Autumn is in fact here, and the trees have turned colors and are dropping their leaves. I saw piles of them blown onto the walk and became inspired:
And I'd like to issue a challenge to my readers:  Play Mother Nature and stamp and color up your own leaves, and let me see how you'll use them. Will they be on a card, a scrapbooking layout, a wreath, a home d├ęcor item?
I'm coming back here in a week or so to see if you will leave a comment with a link to your blog, where you will post your leaf-oriented project....
Here's what I used to make the leaves above:
I used Close To My Heart's brand new watercolor palette, shown at left.

The pigments in these paints are unusually superior with great coverage.  You can get them on my CTMH website ( by referencing #Z3132, or using this LINK.
Next, I put a drop of water (FREE!) in the middle of a CTMH All-purpose mat on the smooth, non-adhesive side. Here's what the mat looks like in the catalog. It is #Z2045 and is handy for so many uses, that you really do NEED this mat.
I used CTMH's paint brush set (Z3188), which is a terrific set for a great price. Color the water on your mat by dabbing your paint palette with color, picking up some color and dropping some onto the mat and into the puddled water.  Swirl it, play with it! 
I stamped an assortment of these lovely stamps from CTMH (B1492 "Fallen Leaves"), using Ranger Archival (Waterproof Ink) onto Watercolor Paper.  Here is where I will be honest: I used to watercolor in my teens and I have a LOT of water color paper, and I could not tell you what brand I used. CTMH does carry some watercolor paper, that I have not yet tried. I want a paper that will hold and blend the water/paint, so this was just some that I had handy. I cut the leaves out ("fussy cut") with scissors and dunked them onto my craft mat with paint.  If I wanted to add more intense colors, I did so, using my paint brush.
I totally love that Close To My Heart is on trend with watercolor paints and using them with stamps on cards and memory keeping products. And what better time than to play with the miracles of color than Autumn?