Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer Birthday Card

Well, I'm not thrilled with this one. I still really like the ideas, but the execution is less than stellar. I think I have a habit of striking an awkward middle ground between "simple" and "lavish." This seems to be an example of exactly that. Perhaps smaller scale, it could have been left simpler and been very nice. Or with more "bling," it could have been more lavish and again been very nice. I also think the berry color is a little "forced." The line of stamping between the butterfly and the greeting should have been ribbon or the like, but that was an unfortunate result of having to use what I have instead of what I wish I had. So overall: good premise, so-so execution. Minimally, I wish I'd rounded all of the corners before gluing. Part of the problem is my comparatively small stash of supplies and thus options, but the other part is in the eye and execution. But the adventure is fun, and it's still nice enough that my friend will appreciate the effort.

The colors are all SU: pumpkin pie, daffodil delight, and rose red. Both layers of the butterfly are punched from some Japanese paper scraps and is my favorite part of the whole card! The picture doesn't show it so much, but there are  orange fibers running through the top layer of the butterfly. My friend's name is gold Smooch over white paint pen. The butterfly antennae is the gold wire edging cut off of some holiday gift ribbon I received at some point. The stamps and designer paper are also both SU. The stamping doesn't look quite so "messy" in person as it unfortunately appears in the photo.

It fits several current challenges:
Whimsy Stamps Things With Wings
The Cat's Pajamas Color Challenge
Sketch Challenge

Hopefully in the future (when I next have a stamping slush fund) I'll be able to use actual Whimsy  and/or TCP Stamps. Until then, since I'm using their challenges as inspiration, I can at least give them a shoutout.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

First Challenge Entry!

I've done a couple of sewalongs, but I wasn't blogging about them and only minimally got into the community spirit of the thing. But here I go! Exciting!

First: my cards.

Several of the current challenges inspired me to get started on Father's Day cards. The blue and white cardstock are leftovers from miscellaneous sources. The color of the blue is similar to Stampin' Up's retired "Brilliant Blue." The red is SU's Real Red. The letters are hand-drawn and hand-hewn. The leaves peeking through the first one are from the SU "Bird Punch." (Yes, unfortunately, there's a bit of a one-source theme here for now. In a previous post I referred to a friend's party as the source of this new hobby of mine. Guess what kind of party it was. I'll definitely be working on breaking this single-source trend!)

The basic layout is inspired by the Retrosketches Challenge #14. The colors by the Less Is More Week 70 Challenge. The technique by the Technique Lover's Challenge 380. And finally, it also fits in the current Clean and Simple design challenge.

Huh. That's a lot of hits in two little cards, but I tend to find inspiration in structure.

I love the bits of red peeking out in the first card. I find the second one a bit more interesting, though. I wanted to make the stripe a little thinner and played with several ideas about defining the first "D" when I did that. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. And the dads will forgive my less-than-perfect razor blade skills. :)

Stamping Catchup

A friend got me started in cardmaking. I swore she was not going to suck me in, but when I found myself still thinking about it 3 weeks after her party, well...

This blog is in part an effort to learn new techniques and tools. I'm hoping to use various challenges and tutorials to learn and practice. Meanwhile, should you so desire, you get to watch my progress.

Anyway, here's my cardmaking design history...

Baby gift thank-yous. Used Stampin' Up's (now retired) Tall Tales DSP and played with color variations on a theme. The announcements were similar but different.

Misc birthday cards. The "flock" card is an inside family joke of which I'm not really a part but was told this would be funny.

More misc birthday cards. I love the effect of the diagonal on the rectangle and have used it again since.

Sympathy card for a neighbor.

Birthday cards for my nieces.

Sewing Catchup

I haven't done much sewing since early pregnancy (she'll be 8 months this week). But at that point I was just starting to take up garment sewing. I had a borrowed machine, an interest in making things that would actually fit me, an unpracticed knowledge of the basics that I learned at my mom's inherited Singer, and a couple of independent pattern makers that were making me gaga. I made a couple of handbags, and then moved on to garments.

Kwik-Sew 3277 in some random knit

Colette Madeleine mini bloomers

Sewaholic Pendrell blouse
I also made a Colette Crepe dress, but that's not fit for photography until I get around to fixing a few goof-ups. And even then may need a design rework (it's VERY blueberry).

I have returned the borrowed sewing machine and am now on a hand-me-down "Simplicity" brand machine. (Anyone know who manufactures/manufactured those? It appears to take Singer needles, fortunately.) I planned lots of projects over the past 16 months, and am hoping finally to jump in again. First for the practical, though: a crib rail teething guard.

Neither the most inspired design, nor elegant execution. But it seems to be perfectly serviceable. I made it with some leftover cotton from the stash with one layer of 100% cotton batting in the middle. I'd tell you more, but it's really pretty roughshod and not worth describing. But she gets to sleep with dragonflies and I got to make up, out of my pretty little head, what I pretend is basic quilting technique.

On the horizon:

several Colette blouses
Sewaholic Renfrew (twice: once to practice and once to replace one of my favorite shirts)