Friday, December 29, 2017

Inktober 2017 Highlights

OK, even though I failed at completing Inktober 2017, I have some pretty solid ATCs to show for my attempt!
 Here we have a horse skull for a Skeleton Sunday. I also made the background paper myself and love the vibrant colors!
 Cat skeleton for a Skeleton Sunday.
 Mothmanda (a character from a project unlikely to see the light of day) for Monster Monday.
 Witchy Wednesday! I really loved this one, possibly my favorite from this year. I feel like my line work improved a lot since last year.
Another Witchy Wednesday, featuring Miss Mama Cass Elliot as Witch Hazel. Her dress isn't movie-accurate, but I love her regardless! This one I watercolored. I'm, uh, not that skilled with watercolors. So I'm super happy with how this one came out.

And that's it! There's a few more over at my Instagram (pooknero) but these are my favorites. I had challenged myself with themed days, and I think that was my downfall this year. My theme for Thursdays was "Traumatic Throwback Thursday" where I shared what was supposed to be a goofy, lighthearted memory from my arguably dysfunctional childhood, and the last ATC I completed (unposted) actually ended up triggering a pretty serious episode of melancholy. Whoops! Maybe next year I'll be able to complete it again.

Friday, December 22, 2017

From Mr. Rusty to Mr. Darcy - Doodle Collection

We had the most charming, handsome old pug boarding at my workplace last month. His tongue hangs out of his mouth 90% of the time. He absolutely stole my heart. This dog literally developed a fan club out of my coworkers. I drew his owner a picture of him to go home with him, but unfortunately a friend picked him up for her, so I didn't get to see her reaction! I LOVE YOU MR. RUSTY.

Also, I'm a huge, huge Pride and Prejudice nerd. Like, to an unreasonable, unhealthy degree. Of course I've got some Pride and Prejudice doodles!
This Elizabeth Bennet here is based on the 1995 Pride and Prejudice's Jennifer Ehle. I drew this several months ago for an unfinished button design, but wasn't happy with it. I like her a lot now, though!
And here we have Fitzwilliam Darcy, clearly based on 1995's Colin Firth. Or at least I hope it's clear! This one's more recent, from just a few days ago. I got some Copic Ciao markers, my first time using Copic products. I also used some Prismacolors and other various markers to fill in for colors I didn't have, since I only bought the Ciao skin pack.

Gold waistcoats are my favorite! I absolutely adore Regency fashion, especially regency menswear. I think it's because the fashion is very equestrian in nature, and I find that very appealing. And I adore the movie Labyrinth, and Jareth's style of dress also appears very Regency-inspired.

Despite the two P&P 1995 fan doodles, I actually prefer the 2005 movie version. They're both excellent adaptations (I don't care what anyone says!) and sure the 1995 version is more book-accurate (aside from the lake scene) but the 2005 version has Matthew MacFadyen. How can you compete with that? It will always have a special place in my heart.

Several Sympathy Cards

It's been a rough couple of months for some of my dearest animal friends and their owners. Here are a few of the sympathy cards I've made.

The first two are inspired by the card I'd made for Leela. I changed a few things up to make the designs unique and suited to the pets I was honoring.
In Memory of Lexi
Lexi's card is a little softer, with warm colors and a soft gray backing panel. Lexi was a sweet, soft, small dog, and I was trying to remember that about her with the colors I chose.

 The heart behind the die cut sentiment doesn't have the embossing that Leela's card has. I instead sprayed the whole die cut with a warm gold shimmer spray. I also lost the washi tape embellishment and instead finished up with some Nuvo drops in white and a warm gold.

In Memory of Phantom
Phantom's card has the embossed heart, like Leela's, but I added gold shimmer spray to the whole thing instead of just the raised paw prints. I also used a rainbow color scheme and a different washi tape. I thought the black and white pattern would help make the rainbow card more somber and appropriate for a sympathy card. I chose the rainbow palette as a nod to Phantom's owner, who was my high school art teacher.

My favorite thing about this card is the paper I chose to line the inside, but I forgot to take a picture before I wrote in it, and I didn't want to share my personal message here. But it's Stardust White, with flecks of color echoing the rainbow ink blending from the front of the card.
In Memory of Jon
 Jon's card is in a rather different style. I was going for a more simple, masculine look. There are die cut paw print windows on a stamped panel, layered over green paper on a kraft card base. I have unfortunately made this owner several sympathy cards before, and I wanted to honor Jon with something unique.
This card has an extra panel for more room for signatures from my coworkers. Jon was a well-known and well-loved regular in the clinic, so I needed to make sure everyone had plenty of room to show their respect.
Remembering Gatsby
 Gatsby was not a client from work, but a horse belonging to a fellow boarder at the barn where Wrangler lives. I used a floral stamp set, but a masculine color scheme. The colors red, green, and navy remind me of the saddle pads from the lesson barn where I grew up riding. To me they are very "equestrian" colors. I finished off the card with some baker's twine and Nuvo drops. I hoped that the white drops would tie together the card base color and the backing for the sentiment panel, to give everything a cohesive look.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Happy Birthday, Maria!

Today is my big sister's birthday! Happy birthday, Maria!

I've actually had this card completed for a while now. I've been keeping it on a shelf in my room (except for when Maria visited, in which case it was hidden) to inspire me for a while. Now that it's handed off to its intended recipient, I'm going to miss having it around!

My sister is a major (sometimes)foodie, so of course I had to make her a food-themed card. And what's better than ice cream? Nothing, that's what. So we've got a delicious ice cream card for her, with creamy vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and mint colors. The ice cream stamp set I used is from Hero Arts by Lia Griffith, "Oh Happy Day." I wasn't happy with the "drips" that came with that set, so I borrowed different ones from my Lawn Fawn "Lovable Legends" stamp set.

It's a top-folding card on a kraft base. A sweet pink polka dot ribbon wraps around and is topped with a circular birthday sentiment. The sentiment fit perfectly into the layered pierced circle die cuts! My sister Maria actually bought this birthday stamp set for me, it's by Ready Set Stamp. She's always been super supportive of my crafty hobbies.

 I finished the ice cream panel with some splatter in matching colors as well as a few sequins. These ones were sent for free along with an order from Neat & Tangled and I can't say enough how much I loved them! I forgot about them until the card was complete, so they were added as a bit of an afterthought. But the pink matches perfectly, and the off-white ones had a green iridescence that matches the mint color so well. Happy coincidence! And they really finish off the card front.

Of course the message inside had to reference ice cream, it's from the "Birthday Messages" set by Simon Says Stamp.

And that's it! I have to say, this is by far my FAVORITE card yet, out of everything I've made. I hope Maria has a great birthday, and loves this card as much as I do!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Color Throwdown #463

I was the lucky featured stamper of Color Throwdown #461! I got an official blinkie and everything! I'm so pumped!

Here's my entry to this week's challenge, where I'm a special guest star stamper. The colors are Orange, Kraft, and White.

I did top-folding vertical "portrait" oriented cards the past three challenges, so this time I tried to change things up by going "landscape." I started with a white card base. Above that is orange paper, and on top of that is a kraft panel raised up on foam tape.

 The kitty here is colored to match my dear Rusty Buttons, our beloved cat that passed away a few years back. When I found out the colors for this challenge, it made me think of him right away! He's raised up on foam tape to make him the star of the show.

The kraft panel is decorated with stamped orange cats, acorns, and oak leaves. I embellished with orange and white twine and a few white Nuvo drops. The hand-written sentiment is on a dimensional banner. Overall I am very pleased with the card. It's a little bittersweet, what with Rusty being gone, but I think it honors his memory.

Here is Princess Honey Bunny Gumdrops (a.k.a. "Lily"), my precious angel sent from the heavens and genuine Million Dollar Cat, posing with this week's card. She was adopted from Camden County Animal Shelter, my FANTASTIC local animal shelter. We adopted her and Rusty during a "two-for-one" sale many years ago (2005!). She had to be spayed, so we had to pay for her, but they threw Rusty in for free to sweeten the deal! They have some high quality cats there, let me tell you.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Remembering Leela

My best friend Rachel lost her amazing cat Leela suddenly this September. As a card maker who got her start (and kind of specializes in) making sympathy cards, I really struggled to make one unique from the other designs I have already used. The more of these cards I make -- and unfortunately there has been many -- the more I struggle to honor each individual pet with a unique card.

Once I settled on a color scheme, everything started to come together. Leela was a black cat, so  knew I wanted black to be one of the dominant colors on the card. But I also didn't want it looking too somber, so I ended up adding coral, amber, and a pistachio green to give it some vibrance.

 I used Distress inks to add the colors around the edges of the top panel. Abandoned Coral and Cracked Pistachio are some of my favorite colors to use for cards, but I didn't want to use just those same colors again. I'd already used them as the dominant colors of another card I made with this sentiment stamp set.

I settled on adding yellow as kind of analogous color, to try and marry the orangey-toned coral and green colors. I found a cute floral washi tape to really connect everything together the way I wanted.

Here's a closer look at some of the ink blending going on in the corner. I'm addicted to stitched border dies.

Finally, I used a gold Wink of Stella pen to add some glitter to the paw prints I'd embossed on the heart die cut. I placed the die cut raised up on foam tape. I used a peg stamp to add the black cat to (theoretically) balance out the sentiment.

I didn't take a picture of the inside before I wrote my message, and I hate to share something so personal here. I deckled the edges of a sheet of Stardust White paper, which has some lovely subtle specks of color in it. I brought back in the same washi tape I'd used on the front of the card for some design unity. 

Rest in peace, Leela.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Color Throwdown #462

This week's colors over at the Color Throwdown Challenge are rust, green, orange, and aqua! Let's see what I came up with...

I'm not going to lie, this was the most difficult card I've made so far for this challenge. I really struggled with the palette, and I thought for a while I wouldn't be able to pull anything together. That said, I'm pretty happy with the result. I used a kraft card base, an I incorporated the aqua color with layer paper backgrounds. I stamped leaf patterns in orange (Memento Tangelo), rust (Memento Potter's Clay) and green (Memento Bamboo Leaves).

 I embellished with an orange ribbon pilfered from my sister's old ribbon stash, and some Nuvo drops in pale gold. The sentiment is popped up on a die cut. I jazzed it up with some stamping and clear Wink of Stella pen.

I spritzed the samped background layer with gold Shimmer Spray, which gives it a lovely warmth, but it was SUPER hard to photograph.

That concludes my third round of the Color Throwdown! Hopefully I'll be able to handle both the CTD and Inktober, wish me luck!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Birthday Cards

Here's two special birthday cards I made recently, one for the young girl who leases my horse (Wrangler) and one for my grandpop! They both used the same sentiment stamp set (one of my favorites) and have similar color themes, so I thought I'd share them together.

Our barn's color theme is black/white/red/gray, so I based the card's colors off of that. Fortunately I had the perfect ribbon! I die cut the horseshoe from gray cardstock that I'd turned metallic with Nuvo's embellishment mousse. I am addicted to that product! The horse shoe was kind of a humorous inclusion for me, because Wrangler is kind of notorious for losing shoes close to the end of his shoeing cycle. He wears corrective shoes and can't be ridden barefoot.

Here's a better look at that horse shoe. I really loved the shine! I used Nuvo drops to add the dimensional white dots, which I used to tie the kraft colored panel back to the white card base color. The top panel was raised up on foam tape for some more dimension, but it's not super visible in these angles. Sorry!

Inside the card was a stamped die cut horse that I colored to look like Wrangler.

Next up is the card for my grandpa!

I stamped a plaid pattern onto red paper to make the background, my inspiration was thinking of old plaid work shirts. My grandpa is a practical, handy sort of guy, so I wanted to do something reminiscent of that.

I used a small plus-sign border die to add some interest to the panel with the sentiment in on, because it reminded my of the tops of Phillip's head screws. My grandpa is very handy! I sprayed the whole panel with a shimmer mist to give it a more fun, cheerful feeling. I wanted to make the card masculine but not too drab, so hopefully I was successful there.

Inside the card is a stamped red plaid heart, to tie into the patterned paper I used on the front. You can see the stamped heart peeking out from this angle.

The birthday sentiment panel is raised up on foam tape, and there's some baker's twine running perpendicular to it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Color Throwdown #461

This week's colors and purple, orange, yellow, and green!

I used a solid purple background, and on top of it is a panel featuring stamped hearts in the challenge colors. I added two vertical stripes of Washi tape, one is a lovely glittery orange and the other is green and white striped. The next layer is a yellow circle with pierced edges, and sitting atop that is the gold embossed sentiment, popped up on foam tape!

This week's colors were kind of challenging for me, but I think this card came out really fun! This is only my second week participating, and it was a blast.

Check out the Color Throwdown!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Color Throwdown #460

For a few months now I've been following the Color Throwdown challenge, but this is my first time participating!

This week's colors were navy, green, and white. I added a neutral (black) and used a gray card base to make this work as a sympathy card.

The main panel gets its color from strips of scrap cardstock, and then I cut the panel out with a JustRite stitched die. The sympathy die and stamp set are by Avery Elle.

I finished it up by adding Nuvo Drop embellishments.

Outgoing Fan Mail!

 Here's some fan mail that I send out recently to Emy, the author of a fantastic webcomic called Trying Human. When I got the idea for a UFO abduction slider card, I knew just who to send it to. The little cow is on a track, and if you tilt the card or push him, he'll slide up and down the tractor beam. I created the spacey background panel on the card using Distress inks, and then I scanned and laser printed copies to die cut from, as this was my first slider card and I was afraid to mess up the original work.

 I even embellished the envelope and picked out a special stamp to match the space theme.

The ATC features fanart of two of her characters, Hue and Dog. Just before I sent it out, I added glitter to the two big hearts in the background with a Wink of Stella pen.

Emy was kind enough to send me a reply letter that included a fantastic original drawing, as well!