Monday, May 21, 2012

Staying on the Good Foot

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I've been trying hard to keep up with the weekly Card Layout Challenges sponsored by the Oriental Stamp Arts Yahoo Group I belong to but the demands of my job are leaving me with little time and energy for fun things like crafting. I did  manage to complete challenges #171 (top) and #172 (bottom). As always, my style is simple and clean. With images that represent the Asian cultures I believe this is the best approach. I love the simple elegance of Asian motifs so I tend to keep the elements somewhat spare to allow the natural beauty to be seen.

OSA Challenge #17
Challenge #171 required the use of three squares of different sizes to be placed slightly off center with an embellishment of some sort across the top of the card. As I suspected, most participants in the challenge either used three squares of differently patterned paper or stamped three different images on each square. I chose to keep it simple, using a small yellow-green polka dot pattern paper and sponging a slightly darker shade of green ink around the edges of the three squares before arranging them. Then I stamped one image over the three squares. Of course the image did not stamp cleanly, leaving little gaps where the papers overlapped, so I filled in the gaps with a black marker. The swirled background and bamboo branches along the left edge were all stamped with various shades of green. In spite of the multiple patterns on the paper, the overall composition looks light and airy due to its pale monochomatic scheme.
OSA Challenge #172

For the layout in Challenge #172, I turned it on its side and used it in a portrait orientation instead of the original landscape orientation. Again the use of colors is minimal -- black, creamy white and a vintage beige. The background is a piece of pattern  paper that looks like an old Chinese newspaper. The layout required a panel with a verse or sentiment and an embellishment that was anything BUT paper. I chose narrow satin ribbons in black and creamy white and knotted them together in a simple yet interesting way to really play up the contrast of the ribbons against the background and against each other. The kanji symbols in the text box are actually three small stamps that I placed side by side, held together tightly and stamped them all at the same time. I sponged Distress Ink (color - Old paper) which perfectly matched the look of the background around the edges of the white panel and also around the background panel for a subtle effect. The wispy little branch stamp was embossed with superfine embossing powder to make the color really vibrant and contrast strongly against the patterned background. In spite of the strong contrasts, nothing in this layout is overpowering. Everything seems to be working together in perfect balance and harmony.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

All Grown Up

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My beautiful youngest daughter Angel graduated from Cape Fear Community College this past weekend with an associates degree in science. Her goal is to become a marine biologist and to further that goal she is applying to the Coast Guard. She plans on serving in the Guard while getting on-the-job training in areas of her specialization and, when her term is up, returning to finish up her higher education with the tuition benefits offered by the military. Such an ambitious and intelligent individual deserves a card as special as she is so I created this Twisted Easel Graduation Card based on a tutorial by Lyn Bernatovich on Paper Craft Planet . The link for this great project came in my email just at the nick of time because I was stumped as to what I was going to make for my daughter. Lyn's tutorial made it easy and was a great inspiration for my own creativity.

As you can see, I matched the color of the card to the color of the graduation gown. The tassel color is different because my daughter is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and is given the honor of wearing not only a gold tassel but a blue and gold  honor cord around her neck. Oh well, she doesn't mind that little detail being a bit off. At least I had gold stars on her card to capture her honor color.

Next month my son also graduates from community college. The challenge now is what card am I going to create for him.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva