Monday, September 26, 2011

Spread Your Wings

Hi Bloggers, I am back this week with much to share.  Some of you may have wondered why I did not post last week.  Well, I was traveling for work and had limited access to the Internet. However, I did take the opportunity to spread my wings in the area of stamping techniques through the wonderful world of videos that I downloaded before I left.  I was so inspired when I returned home that I made 13 cards over two days and about 20 focal pieces for future cards. This "spread your wings and fly" card is an example of a few of the techniques I learned.  The flowers are created to give a "fog" or "frozen" feeling. Using pigment ink (because it takes longer to dry) and doing one color at a time, I stamped the flower and then immediately stamped over it again in pigment white.  Taking my finger, I blended the white ink into the colored ink to give it a hazy/foggy look.  This could be used to reflect temperature or winter scenes, morning dew, or provide a soft pastel.

For the butterfly, I practiced using distress inks as a painting media.  I had not realized that distress inks reacted so well with water.  I embossed the butterfly in black to hold the color in place. Then, I stamped distress ink onto a craft sheet and misted each color with a little water.  The water reacted on the ink like water color paint so I was able to use a paint brush and fill in the wings. It made a much more realistic look then when I use markers or even aqua pencils. To give the butterfly depth, I inked only the antennae and body of the stamp in black and stamped it near the red flower where I thought it would look best.  I then cut out the embossed and painted piece, bent up the wings, and glued on the body portion to the stamped image of the same area I had already made on the card. This gave the butterfly the illusion of fluttering on the flower. A neat way to add animation to a static image.  Finally, I stamped the verse especially for my daughter who is just loving her first months in college.

As I looked back on the days immersed in videos and card making, I realized that it was wonderful to spread my wings and try something new and creative.  As survivor, I thank God every day for the gift of life and I do not want to waste any of the extra precious moments given me. But, in my rush to make every moment count, sometimes I forget that filling up every minute is not the same as fulfilling every minute. Learning something fun and new was a happy reminder.  So, I encourage all of you to spread your wings and SOAR.  Blessings and thanksgiving,  Jeannette

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fall Basics

Hi and welcome to my weekly blog thoughts.  As the weather cools down and the leaves begin to change, I am forced to accept that Summer is gone. While I am not looking forward to bringing out the jackets, I have to admit that I love the beautiful fall colors and the exciting events that mark this time of year.  In Berea, it means The Spoonbread Festival, the Walk With the Arts, the KY Guild of Artists Show, the 37th Annual Celebration of Traditional Music, and the Berea College Theatre Laboratory season.  For Stamp to Cope it means sharing our mission and message through updated web presence, expanded workshops, participating in group events, and adding techniques.

This week I am working with a group of scrapbookers (in an online environment) to see what ideas can crossover into card making.  I am also working on creating "sketch" cards to add to the Stamp to Cope bags.  A sketch card is basically a pattern that can be provided to survivors to give them a card idea.  The card featured on the blog today is made from my first sketch attempt.  The pattern uses three circles in a diagonal over some type of printed paper with a middle accent. Using fall colors ties it into the season but any color combination will work. This basic layout can be quite versatile by simply changing the elements on the circles to correspond with specific sentiments and events.  Why not give it a try and see how many combinations you can create?

Have a wonderful week.   Jeannette

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Always Remember

Greetings and Happy Labor Day!  Here at Stamp to Cope, Inc. and for me personally the week has been full of emotions and activities.  We welcomed into the family our new granddaughter born yesterday.  Thanksgiving for all doing well. Our son had a headline in the newspaper for his participation in a junior National Leadership Conference...we are very proud.  We went to visit our college freshman daughter now that she is all settled in at wonderful to see her sparkle with happiness! She will certainly make her mark on the campus and I look forward to watching her embrace the college experience. A week of roller coaster emotions for me :).

For Stamp to Cope, we have begun the process to align our Learnshops with the Kentucky Psychological Association.  Our hope is to be able to provide one workshop a year for medical professionals where they can earn their required continuing education credits in the area of coping options for their patients. I will keep you posted on our progress. We also received word that a donor will be sending us a large stamp donation for our survivor bags. Thank you!

As I pondered all the happenings of the week for card creation inspiration, it was clear that the sacrifices of others allow us to embrace these blessings and events. Are there ever enough ways to say Thank You? The upcoming anniversary of 9/11 is a potent reminder of those who gave all. I sincerely believe we must remember that our freedoms and opportunities come with a price. I know that I am in debt with gratitude to those who have and continue to pay that price now and in the future. My personal and Stamp to Cope blessings are a small part in a larger picture of inspiration. Therefore, my card creations this weekend became small but heartfelt tributes and creative reminders to "Always Remember".   God Bless America and all those who serve and support Her! Have a wonderful week and please take a moment on 9/11 to remember!

Blessings, Jeannette