Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mama's Paradise

My mom is in love with Maine--her idea of paradise. I think it started with watching "Murder, She Wrote" several years ago on television. The series was based in Maine, and also featured one of Mama's favorite actresses, Angela Lansbury, in the main role. Some years ago, we were able to take a trip there. It was kind of grueling, driving up from Texas (East Texas to Knoxville, TN--in one day--is really too long!), but we made it, and we loved it. I thought of that trip when I made this card, mostly because of the seaside scene.

I'm trying to make more masculine cards for Operation Write Home. They apparently get a lot of feminine ones, so there is a need to fill there. I figured this stamp from Our Daily Bread Designs is rugged-looking enough, and supported it with more "masculine" papers.

To begin my card, I chose Sketch #54 from Operation Write Home:

The main reason this sketch worked for my card, was the size of the focal circle--just large enough to hold my image. (The number of layers didn't hurt, either--I do love my layers!) I did add a narrow mat to the focal image, just to set it off from the rest of the card, but otherwise adhered to the sketch exactly.

I stamped the image onto a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper that I'd die cut with a Spellbinders "Standard Circles SM" die. I used Antique Linen Distress ink to stamp, so I could do no-line coloring. Finally, I colored the image with Inktense pencils, and blended the colors with a damp paintbrush. I set that aside to dry while I worked on the rest of the card.

I chose patterned papers from 3 different 6x6" pads: 7gypsies' "Venice," Kaisercraft's "Up Up & Away," and Authentique's "Natural." Even though these are from different companies, I kept within the blue/brown family, so they would blend. They are also all distressed looking, which helped. For the middle strip, I chose a piece of teal blue cardstock from my scrap stash. I felt it was a little too "clean," so I inked around the edges with Frayed Burlap Distress ink. Still not "rough" enough, so I distressed the edges, and finally used a bristle brush to apply more Frayed Burlap lightly to the front. I stopped there, before I went too far!

For the mat on the focal image, I traced around the outer edge of the circle die I'd used on a piece of black paper, then cut that out with scissors. I glued the watercolor paper to that, and started assembling my card. I adhered the two background patterned papers and cardstock strip to an A2 card base. To get the placement of the vertical strip, I held my circle piece on the card, and kind of slid the strip (with adhesive already applied to it) behind it, then stuck it down. Finally, I glued the focal piece down, and my card was finished.

I'm entering my card in Simon Says Stamp's Monday challenge: "A Piece of Paradise."

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